China / Society

'Panda blood' donor acclaimed 'hero' in Xinjiang

( Updated: 2016-08-04 16:49

'Panda blood' donor acclaimed 'hero' in Xinjiang

Arzugul, a regular donor of "panda blood", or Rh negative blood, in China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. [Photo/]

Arzugul, a regular donor of "panda blood", or Rh negative blood, in China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region was acclaimed a "hero" by locals for saving people's lives with her rare blood type over the past 10 years, according to a report by Xinhua.

Arzugul, a Uygur ethnic minority and a road maintenance worker in Korla, central Xinjiang, said she does not feel any different than donors of regular blood types because they all did the same simple thing - offered help to those in need.

"Panda blood" refers to the Rh-negative blood type in China, which, as the phrase suggests, is "as rare as pandas". Only 3 out of 1,000 people in China carry the blood type.

"Everyone lives only once," she said. "I felt very accomplished if my donation can help others. The only reason I got so much attention is because of the rareness of my blood."

Born in 1972, Arzugul started donating blood in 2003 when she came across a blood collection vehicle at a street in downtown Korla and made a donation.

Since then she regularly donated her blood. However, Arzugul said it was not until April 2011 that she was told at a blood collection vehicle how important and rare her blood is.

In September 2011, Arzugul read in a local newspaper about an old man desperately looking for Rh negative blood donors for his operation.

Arzugul said she offered to help without hesitation. Later, Arzugul's name became known when the man she saved wrote an open letter of thanks to her and sent it to her workplace.

Arzugul has not only reached out to people in need in her region. When she heard of people in need of her rare blood in other areas, she offered to help without a second thought.

In September 2014, she saw on TV a woman in Urumqi who had to undergo a cesarean section and was looking for Rh-negative blood donors. Arzugul took a bus overnight to the city and donated her blood to the woman.

Arzugul's selfless act saved two lives that time. The woman's family was so grateful that they wanted to thank Arzugul with money.

But Arzugul turned it down. She said she donates blood to help people in need, not for money - and never will.

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