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  • Chris McMillan

Feature. Visually impaired woman chases light of dreams


21st May 2023

Feature. Visually impaired woman chases light of dreams

Once a masseuse, a career path many suffering visual impairment would take in China, Dong Lina, 39, braved all the challenges and carved out a new possibility for her life.

Born into a farmer's family in Dalian, northeast China's Liaoning Province, Dong was diagnosed with congenital amblyopia and went blind at the age of 10.

Like many visually-impaired children, she finished compulsory education at a school for disabled people and began learning Tuina, a type of therapeutic massage. In 2003, she obtained a job at a massage parlor.

Her life back then was like a preset route, but Dong was reluctant to take it for granted.

"Teachers always told me to learn massage well as it's 'the only way out' for me, but still, I was not content, and I wanted more options in life," said the brave, determined woman.

One day she found that a public welfare organization in Beijing had an anchor training program for visually impaired youth. Dong, who has been lauded for having a good voice since childhood, realized that this might be her big moment, and she plucked up the courage and made a life-changing phone call.

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