Helen Keller, Steve Hawking and many others have demonstrated that the human spirit can often overcome what would seem to be impossible obstacles. From China comes one woman's story of determination, courage, and compassion.
Although she has been in a wheelchair since 2006, in almost complete paralysis, 62-year-old Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) patient, Gong Xunhui has actually managed to write a 150,000-word book on her life. She did this remarkable feat by blinking her eyes.
Three years ago, Xunhui’s family bought her an eye-tracking assistive device that she could use to communicate and also control a computer.
After it was installed, the first line she typed was: “I am very happy today, and after I get better at typing with my eyes, I will probably write an autobiography.”
Her book recounts Xunhui’s 12-year journey with ALS. According to the article, Xunhui would like to publish an autobiography and use the earnings to help other ALS patients.
when she learned that many patients couldn’t afford 20,000 yuan ($3,000) respirators, and would eventually die of suffocation, she decided to use all the proceeds from her book sales to donate respirators.
Across the US, there are more than 12,000 people who have a definite diagnosis of ALS. That's according to a report on data from the National ALS Registry.
Called Lou Gehrig's disease, ALS is, in fact, one of the most common neuromuscular diseases worldwide. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.
Although the disease affects all races, and ethnic backgrounds, ALS is more common among white males, non-Hispanics, and persons aged 60–69 years. Despite that, younger and older people also can develop the disease. Men tend to be affected more often than women.
Gong Xunhui beat the odds. Most people with the disease only survive three to five years.
Pretty incredible story.