When it comes to our children and their schooling, most of us would climb the highest mountain if it meant our kids were able to receive the best education we could provide for them. One devoted father in China is, literally, carrying his disabled 12-year-old son on his back and walking him to the nearest school that will accept him -- which is inconveniently located 5 miles away from their home.
Yu Xukang, who is 40, is a single dad who has been raising his son, Xiao Qiang, since the child was 3. Because the tween suffers from a physical disability that has left him with a hunched back and twisted arms and legs, he has been rejected from schools that are closer to the family's village and dad's only option was to place him in a school five miles away. Yu refused to let anyone make his son believe he deserved less than any other child simply because of his disability, insisting that his mind is still strong and he is capable of learning. He says his dream for him is that he will one day attend college.
In order to actually make a decent education a reality for Xiao, dad wakes up every morning at 5, prepares lunch for him, and then carries his son to the school in a basket on his back. Yu then walks back to his hometown to work, returns to the school again to pick up his son, and carries him home. That's a total of 20 miles every single day!
Yu estimates he's walked 1,600 miles since September -- up and down hills, mind you, as if a straight path wouldn't be tiring enough. And then, I'm guessing, he has to make dinner, supervise homework, and do who knows what else before bedtime.
Thankfully, Yu will be receiving some relief now that his story has been made public. He has been offered a government subsidized apartment close to the school.
I don't know how this amazing anecdote makes you feel, but it's going to serve as a reminder to me to put a sock in it when I complain about having to take my daughter to a grocery store because it's so inconvenient. This dad's love for his son is breathtaking and I wish them a universe of luck with their new living situation.
Can you imagine doing what Yu does for his son? What's the greatest sacrifice you've made for your children?
Image via Eka Raditya/Flickr