Recent reports of popular celebrities embroiled in illicit love affairs may have caused many Chinese netizens to lose hope in love , but a devoted couple on “iDream of China”, a television program that gives common people a chance to fulfil their wildest dreams, touched the nation with their heart-wrenching story and rekindled the people’s hope in true love.
Get your tissues ready because the story of Ying Feng, a 23-year-old diagnosed with a fourth-degree brain tumor, and her loving husband is likely to bring a tear to your eye.
iDream of China, a show hosted by Zhejiang Satellite Television, made its debut in 2011. The program provides a stage and opportunity for hopeful participants to share their dream and strut their stuff or tell their story to a panel of sponsors, special guests and 300 members of the audience. If the sponsors find that the participants’ cause and dream is something they would like to support, they use their status to help the participants fulfil their dreams. However, in order for that dream to come true, the dream chasers will need to garner at least 240 out of 300 votes from the audience to seal the deal with the sponsors.
The program is currently in its seventh run, and for the first time in its history, a participant wanted to make a wish that could be redeemed in the future rather than right away. Sounds confusing? Even the emcee of the program was a little lost when he heard the girl’s request, but once the hopeful participant told her story, her dream turned out to be a request they couldn’t bear to refuse, yet hoped they would never have to make her dream come true.
Twenty-three-year-old Ying Feng from Zhengzhou, Henan Province in north-central China, has been diagnosed with a fourth-degree brain tumor, the highest grade of malignancy for cancerous tumors. Her young husband, Haibin Yang, works at a post office. They met at a hospital when they were both coincidentally hospitalized; Ying for treatment of her condition, and Haibin due to injury. Ying woke up in the middle of the night from a headache and, unable to fall back asleep, she casually toyed with a social app on her mobile phone, curious to see if there was anyone available to chat. The social feature allows users to “shake” the phone and search for other online users in the immediate vicinity, which is how she found Haibin.
Ying and Haibin met up the next day within the hospital for a chat. Cupid must have pulled a quick arrow, as Haibin found himself head over heels with Ying, confessing his love and asking her to be with him two weeks after they first met. Even though she liked Haibin as well, Ying initially refused, knowing that with her condition, their relationship could soon be cut short. That, however, did nothing to deter Haibin. Just one month later, he came to the hospital armed with a loudspeaker, openly professing his love for Ying outside the window of Ying’s ward, and asked her to marry him. He didn’t even have a ring or flowers for her, but he promised that he would take care of her and work hard so that she could receive treatment for her illness.
Hiding the truth from his parents, Haibin and Ying secretly registered to marry in September last year. When Haibin’s parents found out, they refused to let him marry a sickly girl, but the young man showed his determination by kneeling in front of his parents to ask for their blessing, staying on his knees for a full day. Eventually, his parents softened up and gave in. With the help of many kind souls, the couple officially tied the knot on March 2.
What spurred Ying to sign up for iDream of China was a medical consultation she had barely a week after marrying, during which her doctor revealed that if she were to undergo surgery, there was only a 20 percent chance that it would be successful, and even if they managed to remove the tumor, there was a high chance that she would end up paralysed as a result of the surgery. Even under the unfavorable conditions, Ying wanted to bet her chances on a future with her beloved husband, choosing to believe in miracles since she did already outlive her predicted life expectancy of one year after the first time she underwent surgery in 2011.
Even though she appeared extremely optimistic and cheerful, Ying revealed to the iDream host that she only feared one thing, and it wasn’t the failure of her surgery. She was afraid of losing her husband, the man who showered her with unwavering love despite her illness, carrying her on his back up and down the stairs and washing her feet every day without fail. She knew her husband had been tremendously giving and wanted to give back by attending the show with a dream of helping her husband find a new girlfriend in the event that she did not survive the surgery.
Ying’s cheerful front and narration of her love story was enough to have tears flowing down the faces of the people in the studio, but she went on to do a tearful rendition of a song titled 给你们 (For You) as a blessing for her husband and his new future wife, whom she hoped the iDream organizers could help find for him if she herself departed from this world.
Among streams of hot tears and cracking voices, the organizers of the show agreed to “reserve” Ying’s last dream and keep it a secret from Haibin and their families until the time comes. Three sponsors generously offered to pay for Ying’s surgery fee of 200,000 Chinese yuan (approximately US$32,000), which Haibin initially intended to pay for by mortgaging their house. Needless to say, all 300 members of the audience gave their full support in the form of their votes, in hope for a bright future for the star-crossed lovers.
▼ Ying’s segment is from 24:00 to 50:00. (Chinese only)
Many viewers also left comments saying that they “cried their eyes out”, and that thanks to Ying and Haibin, they have “started to believe in true love again”. There has been no news of Ying’s surgery, which was the very next day after the show was broadcast, but thousands of well wishes and encouraging words from netizens hoping for the best for Ying have been shared across numerous Chinese social websites. We have our fingers crossed too!
Images: YouTube , ZJSTV.COM