The woman who terminated her baby to save her brother's life

What would you do if you had to choose between saving your unborn baby's life or your brother's?

What would you do if you had to choose between saving your unborn baby's life or your brother's?

It is hard to imagine a more difficult choice to be faced with - the life of your unborn baby or that of a much-loved family member.

That's exactly the decision 24-year-old pregnant Chinese woman Yang Li was forced to make after her brother Yang Jun, 29, was diagnosed with lymphoma and told he needed a bone marrow transplant to survive.

Tests revealed Li, who was 12 weeks pregnant with her first child at the time, was a perfect donor match for her brother. But unfortunately doctors informed the mum-to-be that the procedure involved in donation would be harmful to her unborn baby. 

Li was told she needed to make a choice between continuing with her pregnancy, or terminating the pregnancy and helping her brother.

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Unsurprisingly, the decision was a heartbreaking one to make but Li eventually chose to terminate her pregnancy in a bid to save her brother's life.

Jun was first diagnosed with lymphoma last September and has already undergone chemotherapy and radiotherapy sessions in addition to an bone marrow transplant using his own tissue.

It was thought the treatment had been successful, but in July tests revealed Jun's lymphoma had returned. It was then that doctors told him a bone marrow transplant from his sister was his only chance of survival.

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Jun, who is himself the father of a seven-year-old girl, has told how asking his sister to sacrifice her child to in order to be his donor was the most difficult thing he had ever had to do. 

Li said she made the decision to terminate her pregnancy because she could not turn her back on her older brother after all he had done for her when she was a child.

"Growing up in a small village in Henan Province, our family's condition was very poor, so I had to go live with my aunt," Li said in an interview with local media in Hangzhou City.

"Jun was already working in Hangzhou at the time, and whenever he came home, he always came to see me and bring me gifts."

Li underwent the termination on October 3 and doctors are preparing to carry out the transplant procedure once her body is adequately recovered.

Li's decision to end her pregnancy was made with the support of her husband and in-laws, but not all commenters on Chinese social media were as understanding. 

While some have hailed the young woman as a "hero" for making the difficult decision, other have criticised Li saying she made the "wrong choice". 



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