The Optimist Citizen
cerebral palsy

A single mom’s determined upbringing in China helped her son with cerebral palsy reach Harvard Law School

A new born always brings happiness and the lives of his parents and a feeling of contentment and peace to everyone around. But, this did not happen when Ding Ding was born. He was born with celebral palsy due to a complication during his birth. The doctors in Hubei province, China predicted at the time of his birth that he would either grow up disabled or with lack of intelligence thus advised the parents on aborting the child. Even Ding Ding’s father supported the doctors to the disbelief of Ms. Zou, Ding Ding’s mother

Ms. Zou wanted to save the baby and did not pay heed to her husband’s advice thus the couple parted ways and got divorced. But, Ms. Zou shrugged these problems off. She wanted to nurture her baby.  Ms Zou took a full time job at a college in Wohan and even worked part time as a protocol trainer and insurance salesman to support her son and to provide him with the every necessary amenity. She tried to give Ding Ding, like every other boy of his age would have lived, despite of his disabilities. She played games with him, made him study, massaged his stiff muscles, took him to the rehabilitation centre and even taught him to use chopsticks during mealtimes so that he is not disparaged and does not feel ashamed of himself for being less skilled.

Ding Ding worked harder with the unflinching support of his mother and graduated with a degree in Environmental Science from Peking University in 2011 and in the same year got enrolled in a second degree programme at the International law school there. His mother even inspired him to apply at Harvard Law School, Harvard University and he was selected with the University supporting him with a scholarship to cover 75% of his tuition cost. Ding Ding has not become completely self-dependent yet, but his success is a testament to his endless hard work and his mother’s insurmountable love, care and determination for her child.


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