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  • Chris McMillan

Woman's 'home' a pillar of strength for families with sick kids

China Daily

11th January 2024

Woman's 'home' a pillar of strength for families with sick kids

Chang Xiangyang, who has provided free accommodations and other services to more than 2,100 families with sick children in six years, has been affectionately dubbed "Mother Chang" by children.

The 52-year-old Chang has created the "Xinyu Home" for financially distressed families with sick kids from all over the country opposite Xi'an Children's Hospital in the capital of Northwest China's Shaanxi province.

Her 200-square-meter "Xinyu Home" has uninterruptedly offered support to over 2,100 difficult families with sick children for more than six years, offering free accommodation, psychological help, and other services.

Chang has devoted herself to public welfare activities for over 30 years. In the summer of 2017, when she met an old woman who was curled up in a corridor of Xi'an Children's Hospital, she got the idea to create the "home".

The old woman told Chang that her grandson was hospitalized there, and to save money on hotel, she was sleeping in the corridor. She also told her that the food prices were high in Xi'an. Chang was touched, and determined to establish a free home for difficult families with sick children.

Many children at Chang's "home" have diseases like neoplastic hematologic disorder and cerebral palsy. The medical treatment of these diseases usually requires a long- term care, burdening the whole family.

Liu Ansheng, a doctor from Xi'an Children's Hospital said, "We deal with the kids' disease, while Chang helps resolve the problems of their livings. She brings hope and strength to plenty of families facing economic difficulties with sick kids."

"Xinyu Home" receives aid from Xi'an municipal Party committee and government, and all sectors of society. With their assistance, the "home" not only provides material help, but also set up activities such as "Doctor – patient Exchange Meetings" and "Parents' Bench Meetings" to impart knowledges and psychological help, assisting the families to regain confidence and hope.

Inspired, parents of many sick children join Chang's "Xinyu volunteer team". They participate in various activities aside from taking care of their children. Father of a child named "Xuanzi" who has lived in the "home" for nearly a year said, "Sister Chang brings love to us, so we have to put on red vests and deliver love to more people."

"This is a place filled with laughter. I want to shed a beam of light on these families with sick kids, and let them feel the sense of warmth from Xi'an," Chang said.

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