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Lou Xiaonying lived a life of poverty where she made a living picking through garbage for recyclables. She is now hailed as a hero for selflessly saving more than 30 babies found in trash bins and on the streets who were abandoned by their parents.
According to a Daily Mail article, Lou rescued her first baby in 1972. "I was out collecting rubbish. She was just lying amongst the junk on the street, abandoned. She would have died had we not rescued her and taken her in," Lou said.
Though she and her husband, Li Zin, already had the one child prescribed by the Chinese government, she risked repercussions by taking the baby in a raising her as her own.
Over the years, Lou adopted 5 children into the family. Others she rescued from garbage bins and trash heaps were taken in by Lou's family and friends.
"I realised if we had strength enough to collect garbage how could we not recycle something as important as human lives," she explained.
Lou adopted her youngest child, whom she found in a trash bin, at the age of 82. Her older children help to care for him. Her dream is for 7-year-old Zhang Qilin to attend school and is raising funds for him to do so. Education is often too expensive for families with multiple children.