Single Mom Helps Her Disabled Son Get Into Harvard

Ding Ding, 29, began attending the prestigious school last year. He cherishes his "close friendship" with his mother, who raised him to be strong in mind and body.

According to, a disabled man from China is attending Harvard University after his mom dedicated her life to nurturing his mind and body. 

The South China Morning post reports Ding Ding, 29, almost suffocated during his birth in 1988. Because of the complications, he has cerebral palsy, and doctors recommended that his mother, Zou Hongyan, give him up for adoption. Professionals said he would grow up with disabilities or sub-par intelligence. Even her son's father said he would be cumbersome on the family. 

Instead, Zou flew in the face of the naysayers, divorced Ding's dad, and proceeded to raise him the best way she knew how. She massaged his muscles, played puzzles and games with him that sharpen the mind, and took him to rehabilitation sessions. 

Zou even taught Ding how to use chopsticks — an arduous task. 

"I didn’t want him to feel ashamed about this [sic] physical problems," she said. "Because he had inferior abilities in many areas, I was quite strict on him to work hard to catch up where he had difficulties."

Now, Ding is attending Harvard after having received a bachelor's degree at Peking University's Environmental Science and Engineering School in 2011. After that, he enrolled in the college's International Law School for a master's degree.

Ding calls Zou his "spiritual mentor." No mountain, it seems, is too big for a mother's love to move. 

Banner/thumbnail credit: Flickr user Niklas Tenhaef 

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