Home>Service> Global Love of Lives Award> 15th Fervent Global Love of Lives Award> The Palm Fairy—Huang Yu-ting
Be optimistic, never give up
       Honorable alumnus of Taipei Municipal Yang Ming Senior High School, and outstanding student in the Department of Philosophy at Soochow University, Huang Yu-ting, was born a “palm fairy” or preterm baby before her mother reached the seventh month of pregnancy. Yu-ting grappled with death for four months in the incubator before she was pronounced well enough to ho home, but for Yu-ting, this was only the beginning of the challenges she was to face. When she was one year old, she was diagnosed with epilepsy and cerebral palsy, and at the ages of seven and nine, she underwent two major surgeries due to dislocations in her left and right hips. Before the surgeries, she could walk a couple of steps at a time, but had to learn to walk all over again. Nevertheless, she has always faced her challenges with the utmost courage and optimism. Yu-ting firmly believes that, “a little more effort brings you a little closer to success.” Other people may wonder why is it that Yu-ting always brings much pain upon herself and never relents? But for Yu-ting, “never giving up” is a promise she has made to herself. She realizes that pessimism doesn’t help, so she tries to face each day with an optimistic attitude. She knows that when she is sad, the many people that love and care for her are saddened too, so she tries to live each day as happily as she can, until the very last day of her life. If life were a bet, she says she would put all her chips on the future. Yu-ting lives life enthusiastically, she breaks through obstacles, struggles to attain her dreams, and is determined to become a philosopher who sits upon a wheelchair.
 
Six years’ battle for one small step
      Huang Yu-ting, female, was born in 1992 when she was just 27 weeks. She weighed only 600 grams at birth, and was soon battling with death even as a tiny newborn infant. Under the meticulous and loving care of her family, doctors and nurses, Yu-ting left the hospital after staying four months in the incubator.

      Her learning progress seemed to lag behind that of other children, and at the time when other toddlers were beginning to learn to walk, Yu-ting couldn’t even turn herself over. Her mother took her to the hospital for diagnosis, and it was discovered that she suffered from “epilepsy” as well as “cerebral palsy.” She battled for six years, and finally could stand without holding on to anything for twenty seconds straight when she was six years old.

      Ever since she could stand without holding on to anything, Yu-ting had been putting more effort into her rehabilitation exercises. But as fate would have it, she had the misfortune to suffer from a dislocated right hip joint that had to be operated on. When she was nine, dislocation occurred again on her left hip joint, and in she went into the operation room again. Within three years, Yu-ting went through two major surgeries, but what hurt her the most was not the physical pain. The six years she spent trying to learn how to walk was all for nothing, because after the operations, she could no longer move her legs as she wished, making all her previous efforts seem futile.

Breaking through obstacles, struggling to attain her dreams
      When she was in junior high school, curious looks from outsiders always used to deeply hurt Yu-ting’s feelings, but she always smiled back in return. The world may not be a completely friendly place for her, but nevertheless, she could still feel the warmth of many loving hearts. The people that have loved, supported, and encouraged her have been her biggest sources of motivation and inspiration. And with regard to the people that have hurt her, she says, “When faced with those that trample upon your self-esteem, it is natural to want to fight back. But usually this only has the adverse effect of irritating ignorant, immoral people, so I’ve learned to deflect them with a smile. In life, sometimes it is just better to take a step backwards than to charge forward into a battle. We should use our reason and our ability to forgive, because to bow down demonstrate true maturity, and to be able to step away is the action of the truly wise. I have learned not to judge others with my own perspectives and limitations, and even though I may sometimes feel as if I had grievances, but if I let myself think more for others, be a little more considerate, forgiving, thankful, and grateful, I find that the sun shines brighter in my life!”

      Yu-ting had been worried that she wouldn’t adapt easily to her new life in senior high school, but her efforts were commended by the school, and she was awarded with the “Award of Virtue” and the “Mayor’s Award for Graduates,” the highest honors in terms of personal character and academic performance, respectively. Receipt of the high honor of the “Award of Virtue” was a milestone in Yu-ting’s life. After she was awarded, she began to have even higher expectations of herself. She believed that the possibilities were endless, and that one must never negate oneself. Even though the road she has traveled has been rough and rocky, she has received help and assistance from people all around, and she learned to look on the bright side of life. She is also thankful for the people who have hurt her in the past, because these people have stimulated her to further prove and challenge herself!

To live each day with happiness, and hope to become a philosopher on a wheelchair
      Along her life’s journey, Yu-ting has been accompanied by friends and family, who have stood by her side, and seen her through many challenges and difficulties. It is because of them, that Yu-ting refused to succumb, no matter how hard life is. In June of 2011, Yu-ting received admission from her first choice—the Department of Philosophy, Soochow University, and hopes to become a philosopher who sits upon a wheelchair, so she can help others overcome their own hardships in life. Other people may wonder why is it that Yu-ting always brings much pain upon herself and never relents, but Yu-ting says: “My everlasting principle is to do my very best, to be honest, and to be responsible. I know there will always be more challenges in life to face, but I am not afraid. Only those who are brave enough to take on these challenges will have the opportunity to grow and be stronger.” She hopes that one day she will be able to take care of herself entirely, and release her parents from anxiety and care. She will use her persevering willpower to face the unknown, and take the first step forward in a positive state of mind. The future holds infinite possibilities, and if life were a bet, Yu-ting says, “I would put all my chips on the future!”