Local and foreign recipients of an award honoring perseverance in the face of overwhelming challenges gathered in Taipei yesterday to share their stories.
Among the recipients of the award, called the Fervent Global Love of Life Medal, issued by the Chou Ta-Kuan Cultural and Educational Foundation was Huang Yu-ting (黃鈺婷), a woman suffering from cerebral palsy who aspires to be “a philosopher in a wheelchair.”
Huang, who was born premature and diagnosed with epilepsy and cerebral palsy when she was a one-year-old, has spent most of her life in and out of hospitals. Despite the difficulty of her situation, she has persisted in her studies and the pursuit of her interest in philosophy, and was admitted into Soochow University’s Department of Philosophy in June last year.
Huang is among 19 people from around the world who were chosen to receive the medal, which honors those who rise above disease or other ordeals to achieve something special or whose perseverance contributes to society.
The 14 recipients who attended the award ceremony in Taiwan also included Jhamak Kumari Ghimire, a Nepalese writer born with cerebral palsy who writes and paints with her feet, and Fu Chunsheng (傅春勝), a Chinese psychiatrist who -ventures into earthquake-struck areas of China to offer counseling to victims.
Also honored was Chen Yin-hsueh (陳銀雪), who suffers from a motor neuron disease and can communicate only by blinking and typing with her left big toe, for her activism in advancing the rights of the physically challenged.
The medal was established to commemorate Chou Ta-kuan (周大觀), a poet and cancer sufferer who died at the age of 10 in 1997, and to encourage more people to cherish and respect the gift of life.