Home>Service> Global Love of Lives Award> 15th Fervent Global Love of Lives Award> The Piano Prince with Multiple Disabilities—Tsai Che-yuan
A congenitally blind premature child with multiple disabilities whose beautiful music spreads afar
       Tsai Che-yuan, who is currently attending Huei Ming School, is a severely vision impaired student with multiple disabilities. Being prematurely born, he was underweight, resulting in congenital blindness, severe mental and language impairment, and even epilepsy and autism. Che-yuan was committed to the pediatric intensive care unit for two and a half months, during which he was pronounced critical multiple times. However, under the incessant care of doctors, nurses and his parents, tiny little Che-yuan fought death with his strong will to live. When he was seven years old, Che-yuan’s parents sustained their grief and anxiety, and sent him to the Huei Ming School in Taichung in hopes of giving him a better education. The decision, so painful to his parents, turned out to be the biggest turning point in his life. under the care and tuition of the patient, persevering and loving teachers at Huei Ming, Che-yuan was found to have a high sensitivity to music, and his persistent determination in piano practice has led him to go on and win countless awards and competitions. He has taken first prize several times in the youth group at the National Piano Performance Competitions, and has received the high honor of President’s Education Award. What makes Che-yuan even more amazing is how he performed at countless schools and prisons around the country, sharing his own experience in order to inspire others and give back to society. It is this that makes him “a piano prince with multiple disabilities.”

The preterm baby that forgot to breathe
      Tsai Che-yuan was born a premature baby in 1992. He weighed a mere 1050 grams at birth, an unmistakable “palm fairy.” The sight of her baby covered with tubes caused Che-yuan’s mother much distress, and sharp pain cut through to her heart whenever she thought of her baby’s constant battle with death. But Che-yuan will to live helped him to overcome death, and gradually he began to grow well, until finally, after over two months of fighting for his life, Che-yuan “went home.”

      However, the hardships Che-yuan’s family had to go through had only just begun. The complications common to all premature infants occurred to Che-yuan, retinopathy caused complete loss of vision, anemia, hypothyroidism, epilepsy, speech impairments, intellect impairments…all of these combined to cause panic and uncertainty in Che-yuan’s parents, because they didn’t know how to care for a child with special needs.

Able to say only “Mama” before age eight, unable to perform daily self-care
      Most families with physically or mentally disabled children choose to keep their children at home, but this not only robs them of their ability to learn self-care, but may even rob them of their special talents. Che-yuan’s mother realized that she must learn to let go of her child in order for him to enter society and have a chance to survive in the world. Therefore, as soon as Che-yuan learned how to walk, his mother attempted to take him to the classes at the Institute for Early Treatment in Hsinchu. However, all the children in those classes had normal vision, while the adventurous Che-yuan could never sit still. He walked through every classroom, kitchen, and bathroom, and so Che-yuan’s mother began to accompany him on these prowls, afraid that Che-yuan, who could see nothing, might fall and get hurt. Before the age of eight, the only thing Che-yuan could do was to say, “Mama.” He couldn’t do anything else.

Turning point in his life—Huei Ming School, Taichung
      The critical turning point in Che-yuan’s life was when he started to attend Huei Ming School at the age of seven. Back then, Che-yuan couldn’t talk, and often communicated with gestures so that the teachers had to guess what he meant. It wasn’t until he was nine that he said “Papa” for the first time to the infinite joy of his entire family, but this was the opportunity in which Che-yuan realized that communication by speech was a possible thing. Che-yuan is positive and full of determination, and although he may be a student with severe physical and mental impairments, he never gave in to hardships or fear, and lived a life of his own making.
      Che-yuan possesses a gentle, obedient character, and often likes to help others. If the teachers asked for assistance, Che-yuan is always among the first to offer help. He is an active learner, completes all his assignments on time, and is so diligent he not only always arrives for piano practice on time, without bidding, but even reminds classmates to remember to attend their practice sessions. He is a caring and lovable child to everybody that knows him.

Passion for music, outstanding musical talent
      Che-yuan is passionate about music. Once, during piano practice, he was caught up in a fit of epilepsy and fell off the piano stool, hit the steel cabinet, and bruised his face. But as soon as Che-yuan regained consciousness, he immediately stood up and returned to the piano to finish his session, despite persuasions for to leave off. It is precisely this kind of persistence that has allowed Che-yuan to win so many first place awards at the National Piano Competition for the Physically and Mentally Disabled. His brilliant skills have won him the highest commendation of honor, the “Lily Award,” and provided him with the chance to perform in the Taipei National Concert Hall. On Sep. 11th, 2010, Che-yuan, along with three other outstanding performers with disabilities, played as the piano soloist in the “Talent Concert for the Physically and Mentally Disabled” in the music performer’s heaven—the National Concert Hall.

      Aside from the piano, Che-yuan also performs well on the electric drum. He is not only a drummer in the Huei Ming Little Orchestra, but is moreover often the piano accompanist for the violin or flute. He also knows how to play the accordion, and is talented in many ways.

Spreading laughter, spreading love
      Che-yuan, along with the Huei Ming Little Orchestra, has performed countless concerts in an effort to give back to society. They have visited prisons, and touched the inmates to tears with their performances; sometimes, they also visit schools to share and teach life education to the other children, and they have everywhere been an inspiration. Che-yuan has also performed in hospitals, bringing hope and encouragement to those in need of a little loving care.

      In 2011, the president of Huei Ming School brought Che-yuan and two other students to perform in Italy, and they have two concerts in the cities of Cremona and Padova. The aim of this musical and cultural journey was to spread the meaningful message of “Take These Wings” via the beauty of music. Che-yuan even took the opportunity to visit the Italian grandmas and grandpas living in the senior home in Padova. The elderly were very much touched by the music Che-yuan and his classmates made, it brought joy to their hearts.

      Che-yuan has demonstrated deep appreciation for music, and plays the piano with a passion. His highest hopes are to become a pianist, to help people in need with his music, and to give back to society with the melody of the notes he plays.