hanks to his apparent resemblance to Buddha, a little boy with a life-threatening kidney disorder has become a livestream star in China, a profession which fortunately allows him to help his parents pay for his medical treatment.
The 5-year-old boy, nicknamed “Little Stone” (Xiaoshi), from Changchun in Jilin province, was diagnosed when he was 14 months old with nephrotic syndrome, a collection of symptoms including blood clots, infections, and high blood pressure that are caused by kidney damage.
In order to save their child’s life, Xiaoshi’s parents ended up spending more than 300,000 yuan ($43,000), even selling their home to make ends meet, according to a Chinese media report shared by NetEase.
While Xiaoshi’s condition has since significantly improved, his medicine still costs about 7,000 yuan ($1,000) a month, an amount that continues to put significant financial strain on his parents who both work low-paying jobs.
However, recently an unusual new revenue stream has opened up for the family after Xiaoshi’s parents launched a livestream account starring their son. Due to his medication, Xiaoshi’s weight has ballooned to nearly 35 kilograms, giving the little boy a “Buddha-like” look which soon attracted the interest of viewers from around the country.
Now, Xiaoshi’s streams average 1 million viewers.
While his parents have said that they are worried about what sort of effect becoming an internet star will have on his growth and development, Xiaoshi appears happy with his newfound occupation. Because of his disorder, the poor kid hasn’t been able to go to school, meaning that this has been his first chance to make friends. Plus, the money is good.
“Since there are a lot of uncles, aunts, brothers, and sisters who care about me, I can earn money to pay for my medical fees. I want to make money for myself to take the burden away from my parents. I believe that I can get better,” he is quoted as saying.