(NEXSTAR) – Xiao Zhen Xie, 76, was going about her day in San Francisco, California when 39-year-old Steven Jenkins allegedly punched her in the face unprovoked — and she fought back.
Now, she’s donating the nearly $1 million raised to help pay her medical bills to fight racism.
Xie suffered from PTSD, two black eyes and a swollen wrist following the attack last week, her family said. The septuagenarian from China fought her attacker by grabbing a piece of wood and hitting him with it.
Jenkins also allegedly attacked Xie’s companion, an 83-year-old man, both of whom were taken to the hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.
Investigators say they are working to determine if racial bias was a motivating factor in the incident.
The GoFundMe, started by Xie’s grandson John Chen, was created with the goal of raising $50,000 to help cover Xie’s medical expenses. As of Wednesday afternoon, it had raised more than $943,000.
Xie’s family says she intends to donate all of it to “combat racism” in the Asian American community.
“She said we must not [submit] to racism and we must fight to death if necessary,” Chen wrote in an update on the GoFundMe page. “She also stated multiple times to donate all the funds generated in this GoFundMe back to the Asian American community to combat racism.”
“She insists on making this decision saying this issue is bigger than her.”
Several recent attacks on elderly Asians in the Bay Area have raised new fears for members of the Asian American community. The harassment and violence has escalated since the coronavirus started spreading last year.
After a mass shooting in Atlanta last week that killed six Asian women and two others, widespread protests have broken out across the country to combat anti-Asian racism.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.