Zhao Xinrui’s family tries to raise money for corrective surgery

In the village of  Changshan near Luzhou City, southwest of Sichuan province, China, a six-year-old girl has been nicknamed ‘Zhao the catgirl’ after fur suddenly started growing on her back.

The little girl whose real name is Zhao Xinrui was quite normal before a rare skin disease led to the growth of soft black fur on her back.

At first (about a year ago), her parents thought nothing of it when they noticed a small patch of discoloured skin on her back. But that quickly changed when the patch grew bigger and fur began to cover her entire back.

According to Zhao ‘s grandmother, the doctors they consulted said the fur patch was just a birthmark, even as it continued to spread.

Zhao’s family tries their best to ensure she lives a normal life as possible. To make her kindergarten classmates feel comfortable around her, the teachers told the other children she had a mole.

Currently, the family is trying to raise enough funds for her surgery as the fur is beginning  to grow on her arms and face. The procedure will involve replacing the furry skin with healthy skin from other parts of her body.

‘The poor girl – it breaks our hearts to see her suffer like this… We were told that she couldn’t have any operation anyway until she got to about five. But now she’s old enough we don’t have the money. Despite the fact that we saved ever since we heard she would need it.’ – Zhao Lai, father

While every six-year-old’s ambition or dream ranges from being having a dinosaur, meeting E.T the extraterrestrial or being a princess, all Zhao wants is to be able to wear summer clothes and swim-suit like her friends.


Another Little Girl Like Zhao Xinrui

Similar to Zhao Xinrui’s case was a five-year-old girl called Lili (nicknamed Lili the monkey) of Liuchang village, Qingzhen county, China, whose story was published in 2012.

Like Zhao whose mother fled her matrimonial home after fur started covering her body, Lili was abandoned by her mother not long after her birth. When Lili was two-years-old,  her father left her at a Guiyang orphanage where she stayed for 6 months.

The orphanage later placed an advert in a local newspaper to find members of Lili’s family. The effort brought Lili’s uncle who took her back to the village.

Lili, another girl like Zhao Xinrui
Fur covered 60% of Lili’s body as at the time of this photo in 2012. Lili was described as being a very lively and energetic girl who loved to laugh.


When Lili’s story was published in 2012, many people were moved by her story and they were motivated to help and raise money for her treatment, was to be a total of 6-7 surgeries over a 2 year period.