I am always incredibly inspired by the people that don’t allow their rare diseases to prevent them from doing what they love. Whether it’s been Charity Tillemann-Dick with opera or Olivia Ports with guitar playing, the rare disease community is full of some passionate patients that find ways to persevere even in the most dire of circumstances.
Our latest story of a passionate patient comes all the way from the Sichuan province in southwest China. Chen Yuan is 34 years old, and she has cerebral palsy and a passion for writing.
Cerebral palsy is a neurological movement disorder that causes a lack of muscle control and impaired coordination. As you can imagine, it makes controlling one’s fingers extremely difficult; writing seems nearly impossible.
But Chen Yuan wasn’t going to let her disease stop her from writing a novel. She has a determined spirit that probably came from her difficult upbringing.
Chen Yuan was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when she was just one year old. Her mother wanted to give her up, but her grandmother stepped in to raise the aspiring author alone.
Chen Yuan’s grandmother was the one to teach her how to read, write, and do basic arithmetic. She wanted to give her granddaughter as many educational opportunities as possible, but Chen Yuan couldn’t keep up and had to leave middle school.
It wasn’t long after when her grandmother unfortunately lost her fight with pancreatic cancer.
Even though these crises only worsened her condition, Chen Yuan did not give up nor lose hope. She became a member of the Writers Association of Sichuan Province and began writing a 130,000-word novel with only a single finger to type on a keyboard.
The finished novel was published three years ago and has since become a microfilm, winning multiple awards and inspiring many others.
To read the original article about Chen Yuan’s story, click here.