Twin boys with rare immunodeficiency disease draw lots to see which one lives

PHOTO: China Charities Aid Foundation for Children

Two pieces of paper determined their fate - to live or not.

When Kangkang drew the "live" lot, their heartbroken parents knelt before Lele and apologised to him in tears.

The 10-month-old twin boys from Guangzhou, China, suffer from Chronic Granulomatous Disease (CGD), a rare hereditary immune system disorder.

Those with the disease are unable to fight infections as their white blood cells do not work properly.

They were diagnosed with CGD in February after falling gravely ill.

Photo: China Charities Aid Foundation for Children

The cure is a stem cell transplant but the boys' parents can only afford to save one of them.

Treatment costs an estimated one million yuan (S$200,000) and their parents could only raise 400,000 yuan.

If left untreated, doctors said that Kangkang and Lele may only live until they're two years old.

Caught in a dilemma, their parents let the boys draw lots via 'zhuazhou' - a Chinese tradition where children turning a year old pick an object that is used to predict their future.

Photo: China Charities Aid Foundation for Children

When the boys' grandmother learnt of the incident, she flew into a rage and reprimanded her son and daughter-in-law.

"You have to do whatever it takes to save both of them," she said.

Now, there's hope for the family as reports of the twins' plight have prompted China Charities Aid Foundation for Children to help raise funds for the boys' treatment.

The campaign has raised over 820,000 yuan as of Friday (Aug 24).

Photo: China Charities Aid Foundation for Children

minlee@sph.com.sg

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