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Disability no bar to student obtaining top marks, admission to university

By HAN JUNHONG in Changchun and ZHOU HUIYING | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2021-09-02 09:23
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Xing Yifan shows the certificate of merit he received in class at his high school in Jilin city, Jilin province. CHINA DAILY

Xing Yifan and his parents were thrilled to learn that he had been admitted to Beihang University with a score of 645 out of a possible 750 points in this year's national college entrance examination, or gaokao.

It would take most high school graduates great effort to score that high.

But the challenge for 18-year-old Xing was greater, as he was born with congenital muscular dystrophy, or CMD, a group of disorders characterized by muscle weakness and problems with the eyes and central nervous system.

Born in Jilin city, Jilin province, in 2003, Xing's family were delighted with his arrival and did not notice anything wrong until three months later.

"When we took him for photos at a studio, the photographer told us our son wasn't able to do the same things other babies his age could," said Xing Dacheng, Xing Yifan's father.

"He advised us to take him to the hospital for physical examination."

The family spent a month visiting different hospitals in Jilin city and Changchun, the provincial capital, but were unable to get a definitive diagnosis.

After the Spring Festival in 2004, the Xing couple took him to Beijing for treatment, and he was finally diagnosed with CMD at Peking University First Hospital.

"Although we were psychologically prepared, we never imagined our son would grow up with such a condition," Xing Dacheng said. "Furthermore, the doctor told us there was no effective form of treatment."

When relatives and friends heard the news, they advised the couple to have another baby, but they were determined to pour all their love and care into their son.

"Yifan is an angel who came to our family," the father said. "He might have broken wings, but we will never give him up."

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