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A mother's unwavering love and support for her disabled son has finally paid off, despite multiple challenges over the years.
It all began in 1988 when doctors suggested that Zou Hongyan terminate her pregnancy, after a birth complication nearly caused the fetus inside her to suffocate to death.
Although cerebral palsy does not affect one's mental capacity, it creates serious problems with coordination and movement. This meant that Zou's child would likely never live a normal life.
According to Shanghaiist report, Zou's husband wanted to go along with the doctors' suggestion and stated that he would never raise the kid.
However, Zou refused to give up on her own flesh and blood. Instead, she preserved on and gave birth to Ding Zheng, single-handledly bringing him up after divorcing her husband.
The single mother took up many jobs to support her son, whom she affectionately knows as 'Ding Ding'. She dedicated her free time to nurturing Ding and tried to help him overcome his condition.
It was not a smooth journey, however.
Ding only learnt to stand up at two years old, walk at three years old and jump at six years old. This was unlike his peers who developed at a much faster pace.
But his devoted mother was there for him every step of the way.
Zou took her son for therapy sessions at the hospital daily after returning home from work, picked up massage techniques to help loosen Ding's muscles, and played games that would strengthen his brain power.
She was also always guiding him whenever he faced challenges, insisting that he overcome them. One example was how she forced him to learn to eat with chopsticks so that he would never feel different from everyone else.
In 2011, Ding graduated from Peking University.
Last year, he was admitted into Harvard Law School.
The 29-year-old credits his selfless mother for his success and said, "I would have never dared to apply to Harvard, but my mom encouraged me to give it a shot. Whenever I'm hesitant, she is always there guiding me."