Mon, Nov 26, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Awards ceremony recognizes nation's disabled achievers

By Jenny W. Hsu  /  STAFF REPORTER

The problems faced by the physically disabled pale in comparison with those faced by the psychologically impaired, host Liu Tien-fu (劉天富) said at an awards ceremony for people affected by disabilities.

Liu, who is a quadriplegic, is the secretary-general of a non-governmental organization that teaches independence skills to people with physical disabilities.

"I was touched by the stories of all the award recipients. Their tenacity and determination to contribute to society despite their disabilities is an inspiration to all," he said.

Liu said this was the seventh year that his organization has held the awards ceremony. He said that while it is difficult to host the event, "nevertheless we will strive to become a source of positive energy in society."

One of the recipients, Chen Chuan-hung (陳全鴻), was paralyzed from the waist down after being struck by a steel bar while working at a construction site nearly 20 years ago. Shortly after he was paralyzed, Chen Chuan-hung's wife left him and their three young children.

"I attempted suicide five times but was saved each time. I believe divine intervention prevented me from taking my own life. I realized that even though I am paralyzed, I still have an obligation to my children," he said.

With the help of his children, Chen Chuang-hung established the "Hope Ranch" chicken farm. Despite initially suffering financial difficulties, the family was eventually able to turn the ranch into a successful business that has been lauded by both industry and the government.

Another recipient, Chen Chiu-ming (陳秋明), a former frogman in the Marines, said he contemplated suicide when he lost both his legs and broke 16 ribs in a car accident several years ago.

"My father passed away shortly after the accident. I was so depressed that I tried to kill myself by drinking rat poison," Chen Chiu-ming said.

He now owns a lottery stand in Taipei County and is married to Kao Shao (高紹), a childhood polio sufferer.

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