The woman was cycling her daughter back from school one late afternoon in November, riding with one hand and holding the girl, who was too feeble to hold on, with the other.
Tran Thi Thu, 38, from the poor central province of Quang Tri, said her daughter Nguyen Thi Lan Anh, 7, had never been strong since birth unlike her older sister.
She had been constantly sick, and doctors had diagnosed her with blood cancer two years ago.
Thu said she and the girl spent nearly a year at the Hue Central Hospital, a leading cancer institute in the region, for treatment.
She and her husband used to be factory workers, but she has quit to take care of the girl, leaving him, with his modest income, the family's sole bread winner.
The girl's teacher and classmates recently raised VND2 million (US$96) to help the family.
Thu said she was moved to receive the "loving money," but doctors at the Hue hospital have told her she needs at least VND200 million ($9,600) to get a marrow transplant for the girl in Ho Chi Minh City.
"They said that could be the only chance to cure her. But we cannot afford that, even if we sell everything including myself and my husband," she said.
The girl goes to school but can do little else in terms of physical activity, and spends most of her time drawing.
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