29 years ago, a woman in Central China named Zou Hongyan gave birth to a son named Ding Ding. Ding was nearly suffocated during the birth due to complications and was born with cerebral palsy.
Doctors told Zou and her husband that Ding would have many physical and mental disabilities, that he’d be a burden on them for their entire lives. They suggested they give up the baby. Ding’s father agreed, but Zou fiercely rejected the suggestion and insisting on saving her son.
The bold new mom took Ding, divorced his father, and took on several jobs in order to provide for herself and her son. On top of that, Zou devoted herself to caring for her child, pushing him to excel where others expected him to fail.
“I didn’t want him to feel ashamed about this physical problems,” she said. “Because he had inferior abilities in many areas, I was quite strict on him to work hard to catch up where he had difficulties.”
In 2011, he defied all odds by graduating with a Bachelor’s degree from Peking University’s Environmental Science and Engineering School. He went on to enroll in a master’s degree program at the University’s International Law School. After 2 years there, he set his sights on what had previously appeared to be an unattainable goal: Harvard University in the United States.
Thanks to the encouragement of his life-long “spiritual mentor,” Ding has been admitted and is now a Harvard student.
Ding is no doubt proud of himself for this great achievement, but he attributes his every success to the close friendship he has shared with his mother.
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