Lii Yuhan (“A Very Cold Rain”) is an 11-year-old fifth-grader who lives with her grandparents and her mother. Her mother, a burn victim, has lost her fingers, and her face is badly disfigured.
When Lii Yuhan’s mother was a college student, she became impregnated by a married man. She wanted to marry him, but he planned to murder her. He threw gasoline on her and set her on fire, but she survived. Lii Yuhan, born prematurely, survived as well. The mother’s parents later arranged her marriage to a man who was very poor and could never have afforded a wife.
Lii Yuhan was born with many physical problems but is mentally very sharp. Her stepfather treats her as his own child and works hard to pay for her treatments. The mother is very thankful for her husband because without him she and her baby would have died. For three years now, her husband has been in the “floating population” in Beijing and sends every bit of his earnings home to them. Yuhan’s father returns home only once a year, to help with harvest. She loves and misses him. However, like many of GCI’s clients, their difficulties are compounded by illness in the family. Although Lii Yuhan’s grandmother is able to work in the fields, last year her grandfather suffered a stroke and his right side is paralyzed.
The stress of the family weighs heavily on Yuhan. Yuhan says that she has never seen her mother happy. Without fingers, the mother finds any work difficult, so Yuhan has learned to do the cooking. After her grandfather’s stroke, Yuhan took over his gardening chores as well, and she grows tomatoes and potatoes. Surprisingly, Yuhan is doing very well in school in spite of her home responsibilities. She’s always first or second in her class and is particularly interested in English. A brilliant child, she is very strong emotionally and fills almost a mother role for her mother. Her schoolmates say they really respect her as a leader.
Yuhan won a district award in a spelling bee, and also won a Beijing City Award for Young Painters.
Yuhan suffers from a rare disease that the Chinese call Japanese Chuanqy Disease. It afflicts her with regular seizures, and she is often in much joint pain. She is very grateful for the help GCI is giving her because her family has found it extremely hard to pay her school fees and provide payment for her treatments.
Yuhan wants to be an elementary school teacher when she grows up so that she can see to it that all children will be happy in her class. She would like to give a third of her salary to her grandparents and a third to GCI so that GCI can help other children. She says she’ll always live with her family, since her father deserves a break, and her mother is not strong. GCI wants to help Lii Yuhan fulfill these and more of her dreams.