An up-and-coming TV host in Zhengzhou, China, always gave as much time as she could to her job, often working 14-hour days without complaint, a co-worker says. But when Qiu Yuanyuan became pregnant in March, her focus switched over to her unborn child—so much so that when she found out she had late-stage womb cancer in July, she opted not to go forward with chemo to protect her baby, Shanghaiist reports. In September she gave birth to 3.3-pound Niannian two months early via C-section, after which doctors tried to remove her tumor and begin chemo, but it was too late: Qiu died this month at home on Niannian's 100th day, a traditional Chinese celebration, the South China Morning Post reports.
Qiu's choice has launched a back-and-forth online, with some lauding the young mother for a courageous, selfless act, and others insisting she should've tried harder to stay alive. One commenter in an online forum writes, "She's a goddess and great mother. R.I.P.," as per Shanghaiist, while AFP mentions a Sina Weibo lament that states, "It's not a beautiful thing if a child is born with no care and love from its natural mother"; another commenter piles on: "Leaving a little life alone in the world, such a heartless mother." Qiu's husband, a reporter at the same station as his wife, tells the Zhengzhou Evening News that her "biggest wish" had been to be a mom. "She chose to save our child; she understood that not everything in life can be perfect," he says, per the Morning Post. "And she said she had never regretted her decision." (A Colorado woman's family says her decision to have a C-section was the ultimate motherly sacrifice.)