LRS Care Profile #30: Xiao Zhen
Help Xiao Zhen’s grandfather get the medication he needs to take care of his orphan granddaughters.
Surgery Three Years Ago
When Xiao Zhen was thirteen years old, she was diagnosed with congenital heart disease. That same year she underwent surgery with help from Little Red Scarf. Now Xiao Zhen is in eighth grade.
Family of Grandparents and Orphans
The four people in Xiao Zhen’s household are two senior citizens and two orphans. Whenever Xiao Zhen’s grandmother talked about the family tragedies, she couldn’t stop crying. Xiao Zhen’s father committed suicide when she was six years old. At that time, her cousin was only one year old. Her mother later remarried away from home. The two granddaughters became the only hope for the grandparents to live on.
Rain Destroyed Herb Harvest
The family invested over $560 in growing Chinese herbs in their half-acre plot of land. However, before they were able to harvest, 70% of the crops were ruined by heavy rain. They first purchased the seed at the price of about $3.16/lb, but they could only sell the 30% of the crops that survived at $0.70/lb for a total of less than $200. They did not make any money but lost about $370.
New Crop, Still Weather Dependent
Due to the harvest disaster in the previous year, the grandmother has decided to grow rapeseed instead. She said the crops are currently growing well, and the future will all depend on the weather.
Last year Xiao Zhen’s grandfather had a heart attack. The family spent over $4,800 to pay for his surgery. After the surgery, he’s had to take many different kinds of medication, two of which are imported because the domestic drugs have no effect. The monthly bill for his medication adds up to $160.
The household income relies solely on government subsidies for low income families and orphans. The grandparents get about $680 per year, and the children also get about $680 per year. Besides these two subsidies, this family has little other annual income.
Xiao Zhen’s school provides free boarding, and she eats meals in the school cafeteria. Because of her special circumstances, the school subsidizes Xiao Zhen with an extra $200 a year living allowance. The family supplements her with $100 a year so Xiao Zhen’s food expenses can be covered. Her grandmother also gives Xiao Zhen $8 a week for her transportation and pocket money. She comes home once a week, paying $2.50 for a round trip ticket. The rest is used to buy school supplies and daily necessities.
Caring for the Caretakers
Both grandparents need to look after the two sisters for years to come since they are still young. Let’s help the grandfather with his medication expenses, so their family burden can be lightened.
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