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Qian Hongyan was just four when she lost both her legs. A speeding trucker left her for dead as she crossed the main road in her village of Zhuangshang in southern China. 

For nearly two years Qian was immobile as she didn’t even have enough of her body left to sit up in a wheelchair. Doctors said her only hope of being able to move by herself again would be extensive surgery to allow her to be fitted with prosthetic limbs.Her parents couldn’t afford this treatment. 

Qian’s granddad Yuan came up with a simple but effective treatment to get her moving again. He took a basketball the village boys had discarded and cut a hole just big enough for tiny Qian to fit into, padded the inside with stiff floor mats from his car, then propped her up inside. All of a sudden Qian was able to stabilize herself and was able to by move herself by rolling the ball in any direction she wanted. She supported herself using wooden handles. 

From that day on Qian would not be stopped by any obstacle. She went back to school, started to play with her friends again, and started to get back the life of any girl her age. She began professional swimming training in 2007 and defied the odds of her double amputation to become one of the first members of the Yunnan Youth Swimming Club.

She won three gold medals in last year’s Yunnan Para Games and took a gold and two silver medals at the National Swimming Championship for the Disabled (Under 18) in 2009 before continuing impressively at this year’s Para Games.

SOURCE

I should have added this in the original post but after attention in the Chinese press, Qian traveled to Beijing to receive free artificial limbs at the China Rehabilitation Research Center, a center that has been providing help to the disabled in China for over 20 years. At 18 years old she is ready for her full adult prosthetics. 

If I could,
I would turn girls into dragons.

Girls whose skin
has been stained by filthy hands,
girls who are forced
to face those familiar hands
day after day,

give them armor.

Girls who are told
that womanhood means duty,
who dig
and sweat
and carry
and labor,
girls who break their backs
on someone else’s burden,

give them spiked spines.

Girls trapped in cycles:
cycles of abuse
addiction
poverty
pain
cycles they can’t even name,
cycling
cycling
down the drain
and thrown out with the bathwater,

give them claws.

Girls
who chomp down on fear
hiding behind their teeth,
who swallow it whole
because it’s the only nourishment they’ll get,

give them razor fangs.

Girls
who thirst for knowledge
in the middle of a drought,
girls whose minds
are considered as real as their suffering,

give them fire
to burst from their mouths
in place of the words that no one hears.

Girls
whose bodies are not their own;
who are meant for decoration
and cannot decorate themselves,
who are meant for pleasure
and cannot pleasure themselves,
who are meant to be examples
and cannot exemplify themselves,

give them wings
to fly far, far away,

taste freedom in the sky,
and see it for what it should be:
a right, not a privilege.

Every girl
who is considered a possession
or a prize
or a plaything,

who lives
confined by people
who call condescension “love”
and manipulation “compromise”
and fear “respect”
and silence “consent,”

give her eyes
that strike terror into the heart
of anyone who would call her weak.

Gift girls with dragonhood
when personhood is a myth.

 Sarah C. (via facina-oris)

(Source: inclementweatherdelay)

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