A 9-year-old boy from China has a simple wish—to have his gravely ill mother return to his side to play with and school him. To make his wish come true, the boy is auctioning hand-drawn pictures of his family online to raise money for his mother’s medical treatment.
“Every day I walk with my head down, hoping to find money,” said Zhang Zihao from Weihai, a city in Shandong Province, according to a Feb. 26 report by Hong Kong news outlet Oriental Net. “Sometimes, I really pick up some cash.”
In the meantime, Zhang is selling his color pencil drawings to alleviate the financial burden on his family. His mother was diagnosed with leukemia in August, and has remained in the hospital ever since. His father hasn’t been able to go home often because he needs to take care of his mother at the hospital.
Zhang said he came up the online fundraising effort with his grandmother after he realized that no matter how hard he tried to spend less on food and clothes, he could only save a meager 100 yuan (about $15). The boy has faith in his fundraiser: “Sooner or later, I will earn enough money to save my mother,” Zhang said.
Zhang started drawing out memories of his family during happier times after his mother became too sick to communicate with him via text messaging. According to Oriental Daily, more than 7,000 Chinese netizens have taken part in the auctioning and 10 of Zhang’s drawings have been sold.
Chinese netizens on Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter-like service, sent Zhang Zihao well-wishes and expressed sympathy for his plight. One netizen with the name “SPRING0710” from Guangdong wrote: “Hope your mom recovers speedily. Such a thoughtful child.”
“Together let’s help the kid and his family,” wrote a netizen from Hunan Province.