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How an Illiterate Mom Single-Handedly Raised Disabled Son to Get Into Harvard

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Chinese Mother Single Handedly Raises Disabled Son All the Way to Harvard - World Of Buzz
Source: Kwong Wah and SCMP
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A mother from Hubei province, China, braved through all the hardships of being a single parent by single-handedly raising her son with disability. Today, not only did her son graduate from a local university in China, but he even got accepted by the elite Harvard University in the United States! Pretty impressive, right?

According to Kwong Wah, the mother who goes by the name,  Zou Hongyan, was pregnant with Ding Ding when she was 25 years old. Unfortunately, the baby was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and had asphyxia while he was still in his mother’s womb. Subsequently, the odds weren’t looking good for Ding Ding as the doctor himself said:

“This baby of yours is not worth saving, because he will grow up either paralysed or with low intelligence. You should just give up on him.”

Just when Zou needed support from her husband, he blatantly asked Zou to abort the baby, fearing that the disabled baby would drag the whole family down financially.



The loving mother refused to give up on her baby. Instead, she got a divorce from her husband and single-handedly raised Ding Ding. It wasn’t easy for Zou as she had to put in extra effort in taking care of her baby. For instance, Ding Ding was still unable to hold things when he was turned one. He only managed to walk at age three, and was able to jump at age six.

Source: Kwong Wah

Life was definitely tough for Zou. She worked hard during the day and brought Ding Ding for treatment at night. During her lunch breaks, she’d rush home just to play with him in order to stimulate the development of his intelligence. In fact, she even became a self-taught masseuse because she wanted to massage Ding Ding’s body to help improve his stiff muscles.

Source: SCMP

It was reported that during one winter, Zou fetched Ding Ding to the hospital for rehabilitation using a bicycle. It was snowing and the road was slippery at that time. As such, they had accidentally fallen into a mud hole and got themselves covered in mud.

The doctor at the hospital was surprised to see them as he thought that Zou and Ding Ding wouldn’t show up due to the snow. The doctor teared up when Zou said, “The treatment for my son must go on no matter what happens.”

In order to let Ding Ding lead a normal life, Zou insisted that he must learn how to hold chopsticks. And it took him a full year to get it right. Besides, Zou started cultivating the habit of reading in Ding Ding when he was just one. When he turned two, Ding Ding was already familiar with over 100 Chinese characters.



However, Zou never guided her son in doing homework nor forced him to attend tuition. She even told Ding Ding, “Don’t ask me, your mother is illiterate”, because she wanted him to be proactive in solving problems instead of relying on others. Asking help from others should be the last resort.

Thanks to Zou’s unconditional love and Ding Ding’s efforts, he successfully graduated from Peking University’s Environmental Science and Engineering School in 2011 before continuing his master’s degree at the university’s International Law School.

Source: Kwong Wah

After that, he worked for two years before receiving amazing news that he was accepted by Harvard University. He said, “I’ve never dreamt of applying to Harvard. It was mum who kept encouraging me to try”.

Ding Ding’s story has certainly inspired many of us to strive harder, no matter what our life circumstances are. We wish him all the best for his studies at Harvard University!

Also read: 35-Year-Old Janitor Defies All Odds and Graduates Law School to Become Lawyer



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