Home>Service> Global Love of Lives Award> 18th Fervent Global Love of Lives Award> The Ninety-Centimeter Angel Tzu-Yun Li
【Child of God Shows Signs of Hope】

Obstacles in life are blessings in disguise. Sufferings are actually blessings of love! I hope our life experience can encourage people in their life, and that in the future, through our testimonies, hope will be shared to the whole world.
-Tzu-Yun Li
 
Tzu-Yun Li, a twelve-grader in National Tainan Girls’ Senior High School, was born with mucopolysaccharidosis disease (MPS). MPS is a rare disease that so far has no cure. With congenital metabolic disorder, patients may suffer from deformation in limbs and developmental delay in bone structures. Therefore, their heights are often less than 90 cm tall. Moving is very difficult. And since their organs are oppressed, patients may be in high risk of sudden cardiac death.
 
Tzu-Yun Li is very grateful for her parents’ company. She joked that her condition was an example of showing “all things in their being are good for something”. She and her sister, Tzu-Jie Li, a freshman in the Department of Mathematics in National Central University, set a great example by stepping forward and becoming the ambassador family for Angel Heart Family Foundation with their parents. They go to many different places at home and abroad, sending their love to hospitals, churches, and children’s home. They want to share their experiences and encourage more people to conquer difficulties in life and love their life. The light of life penetrates darkness, and the love of action transcends death.
 
Tzu-Yun treats her disease with an everyday heart. She plays the jazz drums, paints pictures, and enjoys watching movies. She just got accepted into the Department of Psychology and Counseling. But she has a second dream, which is to be a director, and share hope and tell life stories through different perspectives and angles. What an angel! And that is why she stood out among the 2,341 candidates and won “the 18th Love of Lives Metal”.
Customized blessings from God
Tzu-Yun’s parents, Jian-Xiang Li and Hui-Zhen Cai, run an after-school care center. They are passionate about children’s education, and one can see their dedication from small details. In the eyes of their students, they are also model teachers. And yet, unspeakable pain strikes them when they face their own two children.
 
Tzu-Yun Li and Tzu-Jie Li are just as cute and energetic as any other child. Who would have known that the two teenagers are only less than 90 cm tall, and suffer from MPS IV?
 
With daughters who are not able to grow taller nor walk, Jian-Xiang Li and Hui-Zhen Cai went from happiness for expecting a child, to despair for the future. For ten straight years, they “kept a forced smile by day, and sopped secretly at night”. The couple tried hard and raised their daughters as normal as possible. The couple also took their daughters outdoors, and built up their confidence through constructive actions. As parents, Jian-Xiang and Hui-Zhen could only swallow in silence their sadness and pain. They took things one step at a time and hoped that there would some kind of miracles.
 
Since there was no family history of this disease, their friends and relatives even blamed it on the last life, saying that it must be something they did then. Their mother, Hui-Zhen Cai, also doubted herself several times. Just when they thought there was no way out, through Christianity, Jian-Xiang Li found the solution of life. He immediately shared it with his wife. Finally, in the love of God, they found support. They no longer see the disease as a curse, but a blessing. The couple realized that they did not need to care about what others thought of them, and that their daughters were two “customized” unique babies God sent them. Their attitude afterwards changed from pessimistic to optimistic, and their relationship with their children got better and better. They also taught their children about God, and taught them to care about their friends. The family found the true meaning of happiness.
 
Talented sisters and their touching lives
 
And to build their daughters’ confidence, Jian-Xiang Li and Hui-Zhen Cai also signed them up for piano lessons, drum lessons, and violin lessons. Their daughter also live up to their expectations. They are talented, and their performance at school is also among the best.
 
Tzu-Yun Li and Tzu-Jie Li both went to National Tainan Girls’ Senior High School. They suffer from a rare disease, MPS IV, which means that they could not grow taller, develop their bones fully, nor move properly. But even with these difficulties, they live a passionate life. Tzu-Jie and Tzu-Yun received “President's Education Awards” in 2008 and 2009, respectively. Chou Chin-Hua, founder of Chou, Ta-Kuan Foundation, once went to Tainan to visit the two sisters to encourage them for their hard work and wonderful performances.
 
Their hard work finally paid off. The older sister, Tzu-Jie graduated from Tainan Girls’ Senior High School in 2013 with outstanding performances, and got accepted into the Department of Mathematics in National Central University at first place. Tzu-Yun also holds the first place among art students in the eleventh grade in Tainan Girls’ Senior High School. They are both optimist, cheerful, and active. Disabilities did not beat them one bit. They still play the piano and the jazz drums, and they share an interest in painting. They are also keen to learn new thing. They really show us their love and passion of life.
 
Tzu-Yun Li and her older sister Tzu-Jie Li are both passionate girls. They have great dreams for their future, and they are working hard to make them come true. They have experienced life-or-death surgeries since little. Growing up, they are always surrounded with love. It truly is a life of grace.
Everyone is unique
What makes her stay positive and brave? What gives her hope? The following are Tzu-Yun Li’s own words:
 
Hello, everyone. I am a seventeen-year-old girl with great dreams and high hopes for the future. My name is Tzu-Yun Li. I am the second child in my family and was born in the tenth of December, 1996. I am the middle child; I have an older sister and a younger sister. And we are a family full of love, joy, and hope. My older sister was diagnosed with mucopolysaccharidosis IV when she one year old, before I was born. It is a rare disease and has no cure. Then, Mom was already six-month-pregnant with me, and I had a one-fourth chance of getting the same disease. Five months after I was born, Mom noticed that I had the same symptoms as my sister. Yes, I, also have mucopolysaccharidosis IV.
 
As I grew older and started making friends of my age, I realized that I am different. I remember when I was in kindergarten, something unforgettable happened: We were having a race that day. I thought I was just like everyone else, so I ran with the other children. When I was about half way toward the finish line, I found that everyone else was way ahead me and already finish the race. That was quite a conflicting moment for me. I was not sure about what was going on, and I had a hard time accepting it. As far as I can remember, that was the first time I felt that I was different, that I was so small. My difference with others grew larger as I get older.
 
The biggest symptom of mucopolysaccharidosis IV is the lack of Lysosomal hydrolases. Therefore, Mucopolysaccharide-Glycosaminoglycan cannot be released outside the body, and is therefore piled up inside the bones. That prevents us from growing to the height as that of other people. We are often met with strange eyes. I was upset, and gradually built a wall between other people and myself.
Jesus, God, and Love
But life changed ever since I turned nine and my family converted. I know that I am not a curse, but a blessing. I am loved by God and I am precious. God wants to manifest the glory of God through me. Blessed be His pipe.
 
Mom used to tell me that I should study in order not to be laughed at, but now, she says that I should study to glory God. At church, I met a group of teenagers who are together because of the love of God. They accept me with love. Whenever we are with them, whether it is at church service or in a community group, I feel God’s love and grace all over us. It is really nice to have them.
 
In the past, I never had a chance to participate in real competitions on Sports Day. I was always cheering for my classmates. But one time in high school, I had a rare and unforgettable experience.
 
I actually participated in my favorite game, team relay race. I was always excited and cheered for my classmates when they raced, but this time, I was on the team! I sat on my wheelchair and held the baton tight. A classmate was pushing me in the back. So just like that, I held out my hand and passed the baton to the next teammate. The love of God was with these teenagers and me the whole time. In the love of God, we support and help each other.
 
Every year, our church participate in a national Lutheran Church camp called “The Young Five”. I remember one year in particular because that was the year my older sister had a cervical vertebra surgery. I had no one in my family to go with, so I went alone.

This was the first time I went to the camp without my family. It was a four-day camp. I was a little nervous and worried before the trip, but I was also happy and grateful—God has arranged so many angels around me to help me and care for me. I was looked after before, during, and after the camp. I felt the blessing and grace of God the entire time.
A 2.5-centimeter miracle
In school, care from teachers and my classmates makes me feel so loved. I remember when I entered senior high, that was a whole new start-a new stage of life, a new environment, a new class—and it made me a bit nervous. I’m so glad and so grateful that in this new stage of life, my teachers and classmates always assist me with care and tend to my needs. These small friendly gestures and daily greetings all provide timely comfort.

During my first year in Tainan Girls’ Senior High, together, my classmates and I had fun chatting, studied and prepared for the tiresome tests, cheered for the volleyball games. Together we strived for our future goals so that our dreams could all realize. Thank you all for your companion. You made my freshman life so colorful. It was so nice to have you all.

In my senior high school life, school communion also helps me a lot. It's like a big warm family, relaxing and comforting. All the sharing, encouragement, and intercession provide me a break from the stressful schoolwork. It is a place where I can recharge myself and continue my journey. My sister Tzu-Jie and I once sang two hymns on a weekly assembly. Thank you all. Love makes Tainan Girls' Senior High a better place.

Because of this incurable illness, growing taller has always been my dream.

I’ve been waiting for some kind of new drugs to be invented ever since I was little. Our family very often prayed to God to bestow wisdom on scientists so that they can invent the new drug sooner. So we waited and waited and finally when I was in fifth or sixth grade, thank the Lord, the new drug successfully passed testing on mice and made its way into human trials. What a great news it is for our family!

After a few years, Taiwan got to join the trial, representing Asia. And after obtaining a few qualifications, my sister and I became trial participants. I am really happy to be able to receive treatment.

We have to travel from Tainan to MacKay Memorial Hospital in Taipei to receive treatment on a weekly basis, and sometimes due to the time arrangements, I have to travel alone. It's tiring, but still, I'm grateful.

I want to express my gratitude to my father, who accompany my sister and I to Taipei every week. And also I would like to thank the nurses. Every time when I go to Taipei alone, after three and a half hours of IV therapy, they accompany me to take the taxi to the high speed rail station. And I want to thank the HSR staff as well. Thanks to their careful guidance and assistance, I'm not nervous about taking the high speed rail alone.

My sister and I even drew four cards by ourselves and sent them to the two nurses and the HSR staff in Taipei and Tainan.

Between October, 2012 and May, 2013, I grew 2.5 centimeters in total. This might be nothing to others, but to me, this is a very exciting news. After this achievement, I feel more confident about my dream of growing even taller.

Share the hopes with the whole world
I love to explore this colorful world. There are so many things that I enjoying doing. Traveling, taking pictures, drawing, watching TV, and playing the jazz drums are all activities I love. My dream is to travel around the world, visiting all the different countries and broadening my horizon.

I remember when I was in junior high, my family and I once shared our story (my mom delivered the speech and my sister and I played the instruments) in a collage life education class and a couple from Macau were in the audience. They were very touched by our story so they warmly invited us to share it with their church in Macau as well. They also offered to be our travel guide in Macau.

So during the summer vacation, our family had a special trip in Macau for a week. The couple warmly welcomed us and let us stay at their cozy home. They took us to delicious restaurants for every meal and planned tourist attractions for each day. During the trip, we shared our life stories with one another and helped others. It was really great. In that week, we truly encouraged one another, enjoyed the feeling of love and being loved, and experienced God’s love and grace.

So far, I’ve already been to Tokyo and Hokkaido in Japan, Los Angeles in the US, and Chengdu and Macau in China. Despite my illness, I love to embrace the world and share what I have with those in need.

We have been participating in activities held by the Angel Heart Family Social Welfare Foundation, including the music concerts every year.

In 2012, my family had the pleasure to be invited to share our story at the "Year-End Charity Concert" held by the Angel Heart Family Foundation. We were among the three families being invited. We had always been the audience before, but that year we had the opportunity to be on stage, and I experienced something different. In the five concerts held in Taiwan, besides sharing the story of our family and helping those who are in the same situation as we are, to me, preparing at the backstage was a unique experience. It was really special.

Although two of the three children in my family are physically-challenged, I know that God loves us because he gave us very responsible parents and a good little sister. I want to thank God for sending so many angels to help us in our lives.

On my journey of life, there may have been many obstacles and challenges, but we also have lots of love and grace and blessings from God. Those obstacles are actually blessings in disguise. I hope all of us can turn the sufferings into blessings of love! I hope my life experience can encourage you in your life. In the future, I would like to share the hopes with the whole world through our testimonies.