In order to raise money for the treatment of his leukemia-stricken son, a man in China turned himself into a human punching bag, offering passers-by in Beijing the chance to hit him in exchange for 10 yuan ($1.6).
The young father was first spotted on the streets of Beijing on November 27, wearing a t-shirt that read ” human punching bag, 10 yuan per punch”. In front of him there was a donation box covered with hospital diagnosis certificates that proved his son was suffering from leukemia, so that people could that this crazy way of raising money was for a good cause, and not just a stupid prank.
The man’s bizarre method of raising funds soon drew the attention of Chinese media, which later revealed the man’s name is Xia Jun and he was indeed desperate to help his two-year-old son, Guo Guo. The boy had diagnosed with myeloid leukemia in July, and after visiting three hospitals, he was finally scheduled for a bone marrow transplant in Beijing. However, the procedure left the family with 700,000 yuan worth of medical bills they simply could not afford to pay.
At first, Xia Jun thought about begging, but was afraid people would think him a fraud and ignore his pleas. Eventually, he decided on a more radical way of raising money, something that would make others understand just how desperate he was about saving his son’s life. So he became a human punching bag.
It’s not clear how many of those who donated money for little Guo Guo actually punched his father, but after his story appeared in national media, the money just started pouring in. “There are many warm-hearted people coming to the hospital to see my son every day,” Jun told reporters. “Sometimes more than 20 people would come in a single day. My phone always runs out of battery because nice people keep calling me. I probably missed a lot of peoples’ calls” He has so far been able to raise 800,000 yuan and plans to get a job to pay for future bills, as soon as his son’s condition improves.
Although Guo Guo’s doctors say his condition is under control, the boy still has a long way to go before he is completely cured. It will take him at least two and a half years to go through the critical phase, including the three stages of rejection, infection and recurrence. However, many of the kind people who contacted Xia Jun offered to help him in the future as well.
Voluntarily acting as a human punching bag isn’t entirely unheard of in China. Back in May, we featured Xie Shuiping, who actually makes a living by giving people the chance to punch him the stomach, for a fee.