Ever since Lin Mei-chun (
After school, while many of their classmates go out and have fun, the two sisters head home to cook dinner, give their parents baths and clean up after them. Asked if they ever feel resentment at the burden, the sisters said they are just happy that their parents are still alive.
The Lin sisters are among two of the eight recipients at the Perseverance Award at a ceremony held by the Taiwan Fund for Children and Families yesterday.
The eight honorees, chosen from 35,000 children based on recommendations from the fund's local centers, were awarded for their optimism and determination in the face of financial, personal and family difficulties.
During the award ceremony held by the organization yesterday, the honorees shared their bitter-sweet stories of how they manage to excel in school while taking care of their families and themselves.
One such honoree, Jay Chang (
Wearing a taekwondo suit he received from the Olympic gold medalist Chen Shih-hsin (
"Although I came from a single-parent family and went had a bad accident, I never felt alone. I feel the love of my family, and know that one day I will walk out from the dark," Chang said.
Chang's mother Bai Hsue-yan (
When he was told that his leg would have to be amputated, Chang said that he would fight for his life and never give up.
"Jay [Chang] never shed a tear during the rehabilitation process. Whenever he couldn't stand the pain, he would hold his taekwondo black belt to encourage himself to get well and stand up again," Bai said.
Peng Ming-tseng (
"We [the fund] thanks these children for their inspiration and their love for people in need. We also urge the public to help more disadvantaged children and help them grow," Peng opined.
The Lin sisters' mother, Yang Ya-ting (
"They never complain about having to take care of us," she said. "I feel sorry for forcing them to have to mature so early, but there is still a long way to go, and we have no choice but to teach them to be optimistic and strong."
After Yang and her husband became paralyzed, the younger Lin learned how to cook while the older sister assumed housework responsibilities.