No matter what, I always try to think about the things I am grateful for in my life. The truth is that not all of us are born blessed with equal opportunities. Few can rise to this challenge.
Here’s an inspiring story from a few years ago to give you some perspective. In this story, Agos is a Chinese woman who gave birth to a disabled boy and continues to push him to succeed against all odds. The boy was born in 1988 in a hospital in Hubei Province, China.
Because he had a congenital disability that led to cerebral palsy, his mother made him to not give up. The doctors advised his parents that he would not make it. They said he was not worth saving because he would grow up disabled and with learning difficulties. But his mother did not want to give up and convinced herself otherwise.
Her husband agreed that they could not raise a disabled baby. He would be a burden on them and their lives, he admitted. But Letthey didn’t have to gave him.
In China, it is common for parents to get rid of disabled babies. According to Chinese authorities, an estimated 98% of the 576,000 abandoned children in 2014 were disabled.
Zuo Hongyan is a proud woman who always makes sacrifices to give Ding Ding a future. After her husband divorced her, Zuo used the divorce as fuel to continue pushing for opportunities for her son.
In order to feed her family and pay for the special care for Ding Ding needs, Zuo Hongyan works a few jobs. She has a full-time job at a college in Wuhan and works part-time as a protocol coach and insurance saleswoman. She does everything she can to bring Ding Ding to his rehabilitation and treatment.
She developed an interest in Ding’s condition and learned how to relieve tension in his muscles with massage. She introduced him to games and puzzles to stimulate the growth of his intellect. But he still had problems with basic motor skills and coordination.
At first he struggled with chopsticks, but Zuo insisted that he would overcome the obstacles himself. Her relatives showed compassion when he could not eat with the chopsticks, but she persisted and urged him to learn. But she said she did not want him to be ashamed of his physical problems.
She continued to teach him to write and made sure he understood the importance of his school work. She didn’t want him to be given an excuse to carry on with his life while he dined alone. But Zuo’s patience paid off.
In 2011, Ding Ding graduated from Peking University with a bachelor’s degree in environmental sciences and engineering. Then she worked for two more years to continue his studies in the United States at Harvard. During this time, he missed his mother Zuo and the close bond they had. She also enrolled in a master’s program at the International Law School.
In 2016, after working for two years, Mr. Ding was accepted into Harvard Law School.
When he was accepted into Harvard Law School, in Boston Massachussets, Ding Ding admitted that he, “never dared to dream of applying to Harvard.” He said that “it was my mother who never stopped encouraging me to give it a try.” He praised his mother Zuo, saying, “Whenever I had any doubts, she would guide me forward,“
He said it was because his mother never stopped encouraging him to try it. Ding regards his mother as his spiritual mentor and explained that he has received a scholarship that covers 75% of the cost of his tuition, the remainder of the fees was a considerable expense for his mother to take on.
“At 29, I am still dependent on my mother. I hope I will soon become more successful and self-reliant, so she can have a better life,” he stated.