If you’re like me, you’ll cry when you find out. It makes me wonder about making a difference in someone’s life, especially a child’s. Can we ever know the extent of the difference we’re really making? Take the story of Zhen Yi for instance. Due to outside help and inspiration, what might this boy eventually do to help his own people?
A Wee Bit of Background
In 2009, members of the BBQCA— a Canadian humanitarian group called the Bethune Baiqiuen Canadian Alliance— met Zhen Yi. They were at an elementary school in a remote village in Hebei province, China, donating school supplies. When they saw Zhen Yi, there was something about him that caught their attention. Sure there were the crutches, but there was also his vulnerability and the look of hope in his eyes. How could the BBQCA not help this child?
The BBQCA took Zhen Yi under their wing and with their support, over the years, he has been admitted to the Bethune International Peace Hospital in Shijiazhuang several times. (More surgeries are to come.) From a child in 2009 to a young man in 2015, the Canadian doctors have stood by Zhen Yi. They’ve opened his life to a world of possibility that touches something deep inside me. You too? Watch this video and get the answer to the question, “What Will This Courageous Boy Do When He Grows Up?”
Zhen Yi and the Bethune Baiqiuen Canadian Alliance
Like Dr. Norman Bethune, members of the Bethune Baiqiuen Canadian Alliance (BBQCA) care about the welfare of the people of China, especially those living in under-developed areas. The group is made up of professional health care people (doctors, nurses, etc.), plus others like me, who have no medical affiliation. When I discovered the group “by chance” only one year ago, their mission spoke to my heart: To promote the friendship between the people of Canada and China, advancing the Norman Bethune legacy in health care and education.
Who Was Dr. Norman Bethune?
Dr. Norman Bethune, for those who don’t know, was a Canadian humanitarian physician who died in China 75+ years ago. His is a fascinating story. For more information, including many photos, please see my blogs: Bethune, pre-China and in China.
Dr. Bethune’s care extended not only to wounded Chinese soldiers, but also to civilians. (To wounded enemy Japanese as well!) In this picture we see him treating a child.
Given Bethune’s monumental accomplishments in a short period of time and his untimely death in China, it’s no wonder he is viewed as China’s #1 foreign hero to this day.
From a Boy to a Young Man
From a few years ago, here is a photo of a Chinese newspaper story about Zhen Yi. The article is about the Canadian doctors who are “helping the little angel of Tang County who broke his wings.”
How far has Zhen Yi come? I don’t know the answer to that question other than “quite a ways.” My understanding is that he will need more surgeries and much continued support to help him along in his healing.
More Information about the BBQCA
For anyone wishing to know more about the Bethune Baiqiuen Canadian Alliance, I invite you to visit these websites. You may find the many photos of special interest. Just click on the following links:
BBCA official website
October 2014 BBCA China Trip Report (or click on this map photo of our tour, “Retracing the Footsteps of Dr. Norman Bethune”)
2. Flickr BBCA:
If you would care to leave a comment on the video “Zhen Yi and the Bethune Baiqiuen Canadian Alliance” or on this blog post, I warmly invite you to do so below! Also, if you will, please share the video and this blog. Thanks! 谢谢。