Toddler who juggles viral fame and cancer will make you cry

Toddler who juggles viral fame and cancer will make you cry
PHOTO: Screengrab/SCMP

Prepare a napkin or hide from people before you watch Haihai's story if you're uncomfortable with expressing emotions publicly.

The toddler's heartbreaking yet inspiring ordeal will test your control of your tear glands.

From northern China, the two-year-old boy is an internet star of sorts. Videos of him eating deftly with chopsticks easily clock up tens of thousands of views on Kuaishou, a Chinese platform similar to Instagram.

From his favourite dumplings to noodles and pancakes, nothing seems to defeat the little Mr Miyagi.

That list includes leukaemia.

on Facebook

Meet Haihai: a two-year-old chopstick pro, and a strong little cancer fighter.

Posted by South China Morning Post onĀ Thursday, 14 March 2019

Haihai was diagnosed with an aggressive form of the cancer in January last year. At one point, his platelet count was about 1,000. Platelets help our blood to clot and a normal range is 150,000 to 450,000.

To treat Haihai, the family travelled to the capital Beijing and have spent around 700,000 yuan (S$140,000) so far.

As if circumstances couldn't get worse, the toddler's grandmother was told she has terminal breast cancer soon after. But because of the family's financial strain, she has sacrificed her own treatment to save Haihai.

Borrowing money from relatives and friends has hurt relations, leading Haihai's parents to turn to social media to both chronicle his life and hopefully find some income.

The child has displayed a remarkable talent with chopsticks and his Kuaishou account is mainly a food channel, but it also shows him suffering needles and taking pills.

"He always behaves when he has to have his blood drawn or have an injection, but he can't help but be scared during lumbar punctures," mum said.

"After all, he's just a little boy. No matter how strong he is, such pain is hard to take."

So far, Haihai has undergone more than 30 lumbar punctures, where a needle is inserted into the spine for tests.

"The needles that pierce his little body also pierce my heart. The pain I feel is incomparable," mum added.

As expected with the internet, some sceptics have confronted the family, but the majority have been supportive. The account currently has 970,000 fans and food, clothes, toys and even money have arrived.

Mum says this has restored her faith in humanity.

Because of the way Haihai interacts with others in his videos, he has been christened "Most polite food vlogger".

A 16-second clip uploaded three months ago has racked up a massive 19 million views.

We want more of Haihai and his chopsticks, so here's praying his hunger for food and life overcomes leukaemia!

tanthiampeng@asiaone.com

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