31 August, 2016
The Liberal Art University in Hong Kong
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Nothing is impossible to a willing mind.  With the love and care from her teachers, families and friends, Tang Hiu-yan, who has been suffering from muscular dystrophy since childhood and facing numerous challenges in life, has completed her Associate Degree in Social Sciences at The Community College at Lingnan University (CCLU) with efforts and perseverance.  She is about to start her third year of Social Sciences undergraduate study in Lingnan University, majoring in Psychology.

Hiu-yan was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy at the age of one.  At the age of 7 and 12, she fell to hurt her jaw and leg respectively due to muscular dystrophy.  When she was 14, she had to undergo a painful treatment to install a steel bar in her back.  In the same year, Hiu-yan also had breathing problems which made her rely on a ventilator at night to alleviate her asthma symptoms.  Since then, Hiu-yan could no longer stand up, and the feeling of walking started to blur ....

Life-changing encouragement from secondary school principal

Facing challenges with academic pressure, Hiu-yan was unhappy for some time during her secondary school study.  She then wrote a letter to her school principal to express her feelings. The Principal replied her promptly and shared with her a story, teaching her not to just look at the surface of things, but to have a vision of things.  Hiu-yan was impressed. “The encouragement and sharing of the Principal has helped me overcome difficulties from time to time.  I believe the true value of things lies in a distance.  If we focus on the present moment only, we will ignore the most important part of our lives.”  Since then, Hiu-yan has decided not to magnify her body pain and immobility, but to emphasise on the blessings behind.

For ordinary people, going to the library, taking the elevator and walking to the classroom are effortless, but for Hiu-yan, these all need perseverance and patience.  “I am worried that I can’t press the button inside the elevator.  I am also worried that I can’t use the computer USB drive as I cannot bend over.  Printers are also too high for me.  But I feel very grateful, because the counsellors and Special Education Needs Ambassadors (SEN Ambassadors) of Lingnan have helped me adapt to the environment, and the library has provided me with a height-adjustable desk.”

Encouraging support from family and schoolmates

With Lingnan’s multi-faceted cooperation, Hiu-yan was able to enjoy her college life, her classmates also had the opportunity to learn to love and tolerate.  “Due to my own limitations, I have to sleep early at night.  Luckily my project teammates were all very considerate of me.  They would adjust their meeting time for me so that I can get enough rest.”

With the love and blessings, Hiu-yan was able to overcome difficulties and complete her two-year Associate Degree programme, and won the HSBC Vocational Education Scholarship.  “I feel very lucky, because many people are caring about me and supporting me,” says Hiu-yan.

Hiu-yan hopes to complete the coming undergraduate programme successfully, so as to realise her dream as a counsellor to encourage people facing difficulties, especially those suffering from muscular dystrophy, with her own story.  “Disabled people do not need pity or deliberate care from others, what is more important is love.  I cherish every simple greeting and caring expression in one’s eyes in ordinary days.”  Hiu-yan believes that only the love from family and school can make her stand on her dreams.