Disabled woman takes care of centenarian mother

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, April 10, 2018
Cai Dongfeng, a 75-year-old woman without hands and feet, cuts a bamboo pole at her home in the Caicun village of Meishan city, Sichuan province. [Photo: Chengdu Economic Daily]

Cai Dongfeng, age 75, lives in a remote village in southwest China, where she cares for her centenarian mother despite a severe disability. Her story has recently gained widespread attention and has touched the hearts of many people through the internet. 

Born in the Caicun village of Meishan city, Sichuan province, Cai was severely disabled by illness at age 4. After both hands and both feet had to be amputated, she had no choice but to learn to walk on her knees, which she has done over the many decades since. To make things worse, Cai's father died when she was 12, so she had to quit school to help her mother make ends meet and to take care of her two younger sisters. 

However, Cai's disability did not prevent her from engaging in many jobs and activities over the years. She worked in the village's administrative office for 20 years and also did farm work, sold homemade dustpans and shoes, and ran a mill. To carry out these tasks, Cai had to wear special shoes she custom made to fit over her knees. Each pair of shoes can usually be used for three or four months, so to date she has worn out more than 200 pairs of shoes.

Because of her disability, Cai has remained single. After her two sisters married, she took charge as her mother's primary caretaker. Cai said that there is no need to bother her sisters now, since they are getting old as well.

Cai and her mother receive several special subsidies and social insurance, so they have no trouble getting by. Cai's only problem is that she, too, is getting older, and says her mother now loses temper more often than before. 

Cai was quite reserved when she was informed that her story has been widely circulated online. "It's not really a big deal," she said. "She is my mother. She gave me life and raised me. Who can look after her but me?"

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