Tens of thousands of people in eastern China participated in a charity initiative late last month to help two sick children fulfill their dreams of becoming a police officer and doctor for one day. (Ni Yanqian/for China Daily)
Tens of thousands of people in eastern China participated in a charity initiative late last month to help two sick children fulfill their dreams of becoming a police officer and doctor for one day.
Jin Qianzhe, 8, from Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, was born with Prader-Willi syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects development. His ambition is to become a policeman.
Mao Xu, 9, from Xuzhou of Jiangsu province, also has the syndrome and aspires to become a hospital professional.
The two children's aspirations attracted public attention after their family members posted them online.
To fulfill the two children's dreams, a charity organization called Childream started two months ago to coordinate public security, health and other departments, as well as residential communities in Hangzhou, to stage an "accident" that would allow the children to fill their wanted roles.
On the morning of Sept 28, three roads were sealed off, a dozen police cars helped clear the way and tens of thousands of people as well as hundreds of private cars took part in the event.
Jin helped direct traffic at the scene with a real officer and Mao helped rescue someone "injured" in the accident. Both were dressed in tailor-made uniforms.
"Please walk through the zebra crossing," Jin told a pedestrian. "Stop! Please let the pedestrians pass the road first," he said to a driver.
Before taking up their positions, both children were given special training, including the proper hand gestures for directing traffic, how to deal with traffic accidents, as well as techniques for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and putting on a drip.
Xu Wenjun, an employee of Childream who played the role of someone injured in the accident, said he was tired after lying down on the wet ground for half an hour with his body daubed with ketchup, but he was glad to make the two children happy.
"We released the road closure notice and its reason one day ahead," he said on Tuesday. "Everyone was very supportive. In addition to the residents and volunteers living nearby, many others arrived in their private cars from other areas to help with the activity."
Lu Yingzhi, Jin's mother, said she was touched by the warmth of the city and the day would become the most precious memory of her family.
Qiu Zhaofang, Mao's mother, said that as a mother of a child with a rare disease, her biggest wish was to see her son live cheerfully and she was very glad that the initiative made him happy.
In newborns with Prader-Willi syndrome, symptoms include weak muscles, poor feeding and slow development.
As patients grow up, they become constantly hungry, which often leads to obesity and diabetes. There is also typically mild to moderate intellectual impairment and behavioral problems.