According to a story from sixthtone.com, patients with hemophilia living in China are using paper cutting to help restore their dignity and reclaim control of their lives. Hemophilia is a condition in which the body is unable to form blood clots. Blood clots are an essential part of normal wound healing. People with hemophilia often bleed much longer after being injured, and are also more likely to experience bleeding in the brain and joints, which can have serious and painful effects. You can learn more about hemophilia by clicking here.
For hemophilia patients living in China, having the condition can be exceptionally difficult. In China, the disease is not considered a disability, so many people are unable to receive assistance from the government because of it. Hemophilia patients often have problems finding work and support themselves as a result. Peng Maolin worked to help support the hemophilia community by founding the Hemophilia Association of Chongqing, the city where she lived. Her son was born with the condition.
Back in 2006, the city’s national medical insurance didn’t cover medications for hemophilia. As a result, treatment was devastatingly expensive. Without adequate treatment, the lifespan of people with the condition is drastically shortened. Founding the association helped raise awareness about the disorder however, and it wasn’t long before Chongqing began treating hemophilia and reducing the cost of drugs.
Suddenly, a hemophilia patient in the city killed himself. Most people with the disease are not able to live normal lives in China, and often had to rely on family for support. With both of his parents recently passed away, the patient in question saw no options for survival.
But Peng soon found a way to give the patients a source of income and restore their feeling of dignity. After developing a more innovative style of paper cutting (and receiving a patent for it), she started “The Love of Cutting” paper cutting art company. She prioritized the hiring and training of patients, and trained them to create paper cutting art. They were paid according to their productivity, and ten percent of the profits went directly to the Hemophilia Association of Chongqing.
The organization used the new influx of cash to help more hemophilia patients start their own businesses or otherwise become self-sustaining. With greater access to sufficient treatment and the support of the association, Chinese hemophilia patients are beginning to become functional and productive members of society, and reclaim their personal dignity.