A pregnant Chinese television presenter's poignant gesture of opting to die by refusing to undergo chemotherapy for her cancer in order to save her unborn child has moved millions of people.
Qiu Yuanyuan, 26, from Zhengzhou, in the central province of Henan, died yesterday exactly 100 days after giving birth to her son, Niannian.
Qiu, who had hosted a chess game show on Zhengzhou Television Station, learned she was pregnant in March. However, her happiness was cut short after learning that she was suffering from a late-stage malignant tumour, a report in the South China Morning Post said.
In order to prevent the baby being harmed by her chemotherapy, Qiu agreed to halt her treatment, which allowed the cancer to spread.
When Qiu's condition deteriorated in September, she was admitted to hospital where her son, Niannian, was delivered by Caesarean section.
Qiu then underwent an operation for the removal of the malignant tumour, but it came too late to save her. Despite undergoing more than 20 days of chemotherapy, her doctors said the chances of her being cured were very low. They advised Qiu to halt her remaining therapy and return home to her baby son.
She died at her home last evening, after her family held a feast to celebrate the baby's 100th day since his birth, a traditional custom widely practiced by Chinese families.
The story of her selfless act has been one of the hottest topics on China's microblogging site Weibo since yesterday, and reached more than 10 million views by this morning.
Thousands of Weibo users, moved by her great courage and love for her baby son, posted comments commemorating Qiu and wishing her son a long and healthy life on her Weibo page. "After getting married, becoming a mother was her biggest wish," Qiu's husband, Zhang Qixuan, told the Zhengzhou Evening News.
"She chose to save our child, she understood that not everything in life can be perfect. And she said she had never regretted her decision.
"Yuanyuan has passed away, the only thing I can do now is to take care of our child and her family," her husband Zhang Qixuan said.
"I hope everyone can silently bless her and our child, and smile at life – just as Yuanyuan did," he said.