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Teacher to sell Olympic torch to help husband

A BEIJING Olympics torch carrier has decided to sell her torch to raise money for her husband's medical treatment.

Song Fangrong, vice education director of a small county in central China's Hubei Province, got to carry the torch in Beijing on August 7 because she was a model teacher and had carried a mountain school as the only tutor for eight years, the Changjiang Times reported yesterday.

However, Song's husband was diagnosed with a tumor last year and had to spend 60,000 yuan (US$8,800) on surgery. Owing about 200,000 yuan on a house loan plus the expense of check-ups every three months, Song said she had no choice.

"If someone is willing to offer a proper price, I'm willing to sell my torch together with the certificate for torch bearers," Song said.

Song said she had no idea how much the torch would get, but it had to be reasonable as it wouldn't help her situation.

Her husband's specialist said a check-up was necessary every three months in Beijing for the next two years.

"It costs us thousands of yuan each time for the trip, medical service charge and accommodation," Song said.

The teacher, who started her career in 1986 when she was only 15, later enrolled in the Hubei College of Education and became highly prized by state leaders including President Hu Jintao.

Now a primary school headmaster and educational director of Wufeng Tujia Autonomous County, she is also helping the other two local schools to get sponsorship for computing lessons.

With numerous awards issued by the government, Song wished to solve the problem by her own.

She said she wouldn't sell her apartment as it would make the situation worse.


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