Home>Service> Global Love of Lives Award> 16th Fervent Global Love of Lives Award> Chen Ting-pao—Warrior with a Paintbrush
[Painter of life]

There’s no chance of success unless you give it a try.
—Chen Ting-pao
 
Chen Ting-pao is a receptionist at Eden Welfare Foundation, a local organization dedicated to serving the disability population. Born with congenital heart disease and later diagnosed with scoliosis, Ting-pao underwent seven surgeries to correct his condition. Although he is only 120 cm and often bullied by others, he is positive and always look at the bright side of things. 
 
 
After graduation from Kai-nan Vocational High School, he took up pottery and arts. Over the years, he has found his niche in Chinese painting and oil painting. He loves to create artistic images and artwork using gongbi, a Chinese painting technique that highlights detailed brushstrokes. 

The world of painting
Ting-pao’s oil paintings are characterized by the application of Chinese painting techniques and vibrant hues. By overlapping generous layers of colors on canvases, he gives new life to flowers and birds. Agreeing with Vincent van Gough, Ting-pao believes that a real artist paints for himself and not others. 
 
The following paragraphs are interviews with Ting-pao’s mother. 
 

Ting-pao was born on July 3, 1978, weighting only 1750 grams. He is my first child and I was very excited about adding a new member to the family. 
 
My happiness, however, only lasted one month. The hospital suspected a heart problem because Ting-pao’s lips would turn black whenever he sucked too hard to get the milk out of the bottle. 
 
I was devastated when the doctor found out, after examinations, that Ting-pao had coarctation of the aorta, a congenital heart condition. He was required to undergo surgery once he gained enough weight. 
 
A few months after the surgery, another bad news hit the family. The doctor diagnosed Ting-pao with scoliosis. I was heartbroken and didn’t know why God had played such a mean joke on me and the baby. 

Bullying and discrimination 
Ting-pao learned to walk at two. At the time, he had to wear a corrective brace. He often tripped over himself because he wasn’t used to the extra weight on his body. His classmates at school dubbed him as a monster and looked at him, as well as me, in a strange way. 
 
Ting-pao’s condition took a turn for the worse several years after. Another surgery had to be performed to correct his spines. The first surgery failed because the doctor inserted the steel pin in the wrong place. Ting-pao underwent another two surgeries to fix the problem.
 
The bullying situation at school didn’t improve when he got out of the hospital. Because he was smaller than most of his classmates, he was constantly picked on, teased at and forced to give away his daily allowance. 

The turning point
After Ting-pao’s graduation from vocational high school, I encouraged him to sign up for a training program at Eden Welfare Foundation. The foundation runs a series of vocational program tailor made for physically and mentally disabled persons. 
 
At first, Ting-pao was bored with basic pottery lessons and thought about quitting. The teachers gave him pep talks and didn’t pressure him to make any fast decisions. One month later, to my surprise, he was showing off his pottery and thinking about selling them for a living.
 
Half a year later, he started painting lessons. I was thrilled to see him focus on something creative and productive. One year later, he told me proudly that he was elected the class leader and was able to help the teacher carry out different activities for new students. 
 
One time, Ting-pao, on behalf of all trainees, gave a speech at the final presentation. Sitting in the audience, I was mesmerized by the speech content as well as the smooth delivery. The teacher said Ting-pao wrote the speech himself and kept it a secret because he wanted to give me a surprise. 
 
“This is a miracle. Ting-pao didn’t know a thing about painting when he started and now see where he stands. Where there’s a will, there’s a way,” I told the media reporting on the event. 

Perseverance 
Ting-pao is now a receptionist at Eden Welfare Foundation and his job is to introduce the organization’s mission to visitors. He also takes Chinese painting courses from a community college. 
 
Learning how to perfect painting was no easy task for him, a patient suffering from scoliosis. He couldn’t sit nor stand for a long period of time. With perseverance, he m

astered the skills in Chinese painting and oil painting. He often incorporates his artwork in calendars, greeting cards and presents for seniors in retirement homes. 
To maintain his health, Ting-pao enrolled himself in the physical therapy class at the community college. He’s never late, always shows up for class on time and practices harder than his classmates. I have to say, I’m really proud of having him as my son. 

A giant

English Premier Winston Churchill once said, “a pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity while an
 optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” Ting-pao is a life-loving optimist full confidence and courage. 
 
I used to pray to God to let me live longer than Ting-pao so that he would not be left alone in this world. My thinking has changed drastically over the years. Ting-pao is an independent, confident and strong person. He is always willing to lend a helping hand to those in need. I have learned so much from him; he’s a giant in my eyes.