Man donates stem cells to save leukemia patient

Writer: Wang Jingli  |  Editor: Zhang Chanwen  |  From: Shenzhen Daily  |  Updated: 2023-03-08

Qiu Lijin, an undergraduate student from the School of Materials Science and Engineering of the Harbin Institute of Technology, Shenzhen (HIT-SZ), recently donated hematopoietic stem cells to help extend the life of a leukemia-stricken patient in South China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

Qiu Lijin donates hematopoietic stem cells. File photo

Qiu made the donation at Shenzhen Second People’s Hospital on Feb. 23 and became the second hematopoietic stem cell donor in HIT-SZ and the 590th in the city, according to HIT-SZ.

Qiu donated blood for the first time on his 18th birthday in January 2021, his special gift upon reaching adulthood. He also registered with the China Marrow Donor Program and waited to be matched.

Last Dec. 2, Qiu was informed that his blood marrow matched with a leukemia patient living in Guangxi. Qiu immediately contacted Zhang Lin, a doctor from Shenzhen Blood Center, to express his willingness to donate hematopoietic stem cells.

The donation required over 9,000 milliliters of blood which made Qiu’s parents quite worried.

Qiu explained to his parents that the blood donation would not harm his health.

“My parents love me, so they are worried. However, the donation is like a relay in life I have to complete,” he said.

After a physical checkup last Dec. 14, Qiu met the requirements and was a perfect match with the patient for the donation.

According to the staffers from the Shenzhen Blood Center, donors must be treated with injections in four consecutive days prior to donation to improve white blood cell count.

Qiu said he was nervous since coming to the hospital on Feb. 18, but he was more worried about the possibility of being unable to donate to help his match.

On Feb. 23, Qiu finally completed the donation process, bringing hope to his leukemia-stricken recipient. Qiu’s teachers visited him and said he was keen on various volunteer work and is an enthusiastic student.

Qiu is currently back on campus as normal. “I am very happy to help extend the life of a patient living far away and I hope to encourage more students to join the cause to help more people in need,” he said.