Li Mingjin, a 38-year-old coal miner, worked hard and was the sole breadwinner for his family. For 19 years, he toiled deep in the belly of the earth beneath Shanxi province. But in November 2014, by the time he was diagnosed with lung cancer, he was too sick to continue working. His wife, Ning Xianfang, was left to care for him and their two daughters, six-year-old Siyao and four-year-old Mengmeng. Without his employment or any form of health insurance (they had opted not to buy insurance from the government), the family’s economic situation quickly became dire.

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