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China sees more body donors

TIANJIN - For many people, late-night calls bring unwanted disturbance, but for 74-year-old Zhao Yonghua, they are a cause for excitement.

When his phone rings at night, Zhao, a volunteer advocate for body donation, replies "I'll be there asap," puts on his clothes and rushes to the scene.

"Sometimes a phone call informs me the death of a voluntary body donor, and in such cases every minute counts," he said.

Upon arriving at the scene, Zhao helps bereaved families fill in application forms, and answers their questions on the body donation procedure.

Formerly a worker in north China's Tianjin municipality, Zhao has been an advocate for body donation for abou[MG_SEO]t 20 years.

In 2002, Zhao notarized his will for body donation, as did his wife. Before that, the couple had set up a service hotline to promote body donation and organized voluntary activities.

So far, Zhao's volunteer group, which has over 100 people, has assisted more than 2,000 people to apply for body donation, with their registrations being filed.

"My job does not stop at getting them to sign the papers. We visit the families of the donors often and show them respect," he said.

In a memorial park in Tianjin, the names of 803 body donors are engraved on a monument, and Zhao knows a third of them.|