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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 May 2007, 12:18 GMT 13:18 UK
Mother offered in internet swap
Chinese newspaper
The case has attracted huge media attention in China
A woman in China has offered to marry off her cancer-stricken mother to anyone who can pay her medical bills.

Du Chunmei says she cannot afford the $6,000 of treatment and believes it is the only way to save her mother's life.

She has put an advert online saying: "I post this message in desperation. If anyone could pay for my mother's treatment, I'll marry her to you."

Her appeal, which she says has her mother's approval, has captured the public's attention in China.

Mrs Du, 31, told the BBC how she and her brothers had spent their savings when their father fell ill two years ago.

I don't leave the house these days just in case someone calls
Du Chunmei

"I know people are saying bad things about me, but I don't care that much if I can save her," she said.

"We owe a lot of money already, I can't find a proper job, and no-one is helping us."

She says they borrowed money from neighbours and friends, but their father eventually died of cancer.

So far Mrs Du, from Liaoning province in north-east China, has failed to raise the money she needs.

"I don't leave the house these days just in case someone calls."

Rising costs

The online message has attracted nationwide media attention and generated much debate on the internet.

Some have condemned her behaviour as a shameful violation of Chinese traditional value of filial piety.

Others have said they think it is a good idea to attract media attention and call for help.

In the past 20 years the cost of medical treatment has risen sharply, but the social security system has fallen behind.

As a result, poorer people in China have found it hard to get proper hospital treatment.

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