Chinese girl, 5, dies of leukaemia following controversy over father’s fundraising
Family returned 2.6 million yuan in donations after being accused of fraud
A five-year-old girl died of leukaemia in Shenzhen on Saturday, nearly a month after her father triggered controversy nationwide for appealing for donations for her treatment without full disclosure of the family assets.
The girl died on Saturday morning and her body was donated by the family to the Shenzhen University Health Science Centre for research and education, the Shenzhen Evening News reported on Saturday.
The donation was coordinated by the Shenzhen branch of the Red Cross Society of China, the report said.
Earlier this month, the father, Luo Er from Shenzhen, Guangdong province, returned 2.6 million yuan (US$374,200) raised through an online crowdfunding appeal to help treat the girl, after accusations of fraud.
The father received an outpouring of sympathy and donations after publishing a moving post on popular Chinese social media WeChat about his anxiety and concerns over the medical costs for his daughter, who suffered from leukaemia.
Financial consultancy firm Xiao Tong Ren also agreed to donate one yuan each time the post was shared on social media, with a cap of 500,000 yuan.
But there was a massive backlash when it was discovered Luo owned three homes and Xiao Tong Ren was unveiled to be run by his friend. Many people accused Luo of fraud for not fully disclosing his family assets while appealing for donations. Some said the donations should have been diverted to others who were more needy than him.