Families with rare-disease patients enjoy a tour of Shanghai
Four families with children suffering from rare diseases took a three-day trip to Shanghai as part of a public welfare program to fulfill their dreams of seeing the world.
This year's World Rare Disease Day falls on Tuesday and is themed "Share Your Colors."
Since its inception in 2015, the Chinese Organization for Rare Disorders has assisted over 100 families with rare-disease patients in realizing their travel dreams. The program has covered more than 50 cities in 14 provinces.
Since Sunday, the program has become a permanent feature of the organization.
It is the first of its kind in China, and its goal is to provide psychological comfort to patients with rare diseases and their families through travel.
Such families are encouraged to step out because travel can in some way make them forget their diseases, while many families can't afford to travel, according to Huang Rufang, the organization's founder and director.
The four families took Huangpu River cruises and visited the Normandie Apartments, the Shanghai Natural History Museum, and Changfeng Ocean World.
"My son was excited because it was the first time he saw a big ship," a man surnamed Zhang said. "He treasured the opportunity to travel and never missed a sunrise in Shanghai because he was so excited that he woke up early."
"We hope that they will recall the happy moments when they face tough times and difficulties in the future. Hopefully, the trip will give them some relief and strength," Huang said.