Von Johnson: a "mirror" lighting disabled families.
raising a deaf daughter becoming a university student during 22 years; raising 47 million RMB to help the many families of disabled during five years as Family Committee chairman of the School for the disabled,
Von Johnson: a "mirror" lighting disabled families.
Today, Von Johnson is 59 years old. Twenty-two years ago, her eight month old daughter became deaf because of drugs. She cried every day. Twenty-two years later, when her daughter became one of the first deaf University students from Zhongshan city, she had already become a senior volunteer, Family Committee chairman of the School for the disabled, a candidate of Annual education figures of Zhongshan City in 2011,and a spiritual pillar of many families of disabled.
Dry hair with a lot of white hair tucked tied back, back slightly bent, her forehead wrinkled, wearing cheap clothes, holding a shopping bag, and sitting in front of me in the Community office, Von Johnson appears to be an ordinary housewife.
Twenty-two years ago, when Von Johnson was told by experts that Xiaoxin would never hear the sound and no longer speak, she fainted. But she was unwilling to give up: "If I didn’t try, I will never be reconciled."
In 1993, after apetition by Von Johnson and other parents, the Red Cross in Zhongshan opened the first language training classes named Lighting Mind School for thirteen deaf children. Xiaoxin was lucky to be one of them. After class, Von Johnson kept training at home: "I took a spoon pressing her tongue, teaching her pronouncing 'ah'." That time, Xiaoxin's tongue often bled, crying, while she glared at her mother bristling her little finger. "Her eyes were in tears, my heart bled." It took one year to learn pronouncing "ah". When 6-year-old Xiaoxin first called out "Mom", Von Johnson hugged her daughter happily, laughing to tears.
In order to make Xiaoxin be able to integrate into society, Von Johnson joined the team of Zhongshan Young Volunteers and took part in the donation every year with her daughter. When Von Johnson educated Xiaoxin to be a kind-hearted person, she trained her perseverance at the same time.
One year, Xiaoxin joined Zhongshan Games for the Disabled. Xiaoxin was ill and still got a fever in the morning of the race day. In spite of the fact Xiaoxin was reluctant to participate the 200 meter running race, Von Johnson insisted.
"Mom, can you not be so cruel?" Xiaoxin took the medicine with tears.
"Mom loves you, care about you!"
Von Johnson escorted Xiaoxin who did not eat for three days to Stadium. Waiting at the terminal point, Von Johnson gave a hug to Xiaoxin when she arrived at the end first. That time Xiaoxin was exhausted and her face became blue, her hands trembling. Later, Xiaoxin wrote an essay recalling the competition,"the opportunity will not come again, Thanks for mother's persistence." Von Johnson used an almost straight way to make the deaf daughter grow: "When I leave her, she can survive, being strong in the face of all obstacles."
Last year, Xiaoxin was admitted to the Beijing Union University, becoming one of the first deaf college students in Zhongshan City. In the school, she is a volunteer, a community leader.
Every time she is talking about her daughter, Von Johnson has a happy face. Remembering the bitterness of the past, she is still emotional, but she learns to face suffering with a smile. Her daughter goes to Beijing to study, but Von Johnson is busier.
In 2003, Lighting Mind School Renamed Zhongshan Special Education Schools for all disable children. Five years ago, Von Johnson was selected as Family Committee chairman of this school. She launched the donation in the families for poor families in the school.” We want to self-help each other.” Every November is the month of donation. This year, they raised 20.000 RMB. When I asked if they need report on the newspaper so that more people will donate for them, however, Von Johnson refused. She said they can handle by themselves now. As Family Committee chairman of the School for the disabled for five years, she raised a total of 47 million RMB for families of this school to solve their problems.
November 26, Von Johnson went to visit a family. The daughter,Iowa, fell down in junior high school in 2001, which led to long-term coma due to brain stem hemorrhage and paralysis. After 10 years, Iowa has been able to write, to speak, to walk a few steps on a cane, however, depressed mood often makes her angry for no reason, the mother can only suffer in silence. Von Johnson knows that and went to help the family, with her own experience to encourage Iowa’s parents. She treats Iowa as her own daughter. In Iowa's home, I saw Von Johnson give her the book:"How the Steel Was tempered."
"I can endure Economic difficulties, but the mental suffering makes me crazy. I want to thank Aunt Johnson." Iowa's mother was tormented and took Von Johnson’s hand.
Von Johnson did not remember how many families she already helped, such as Xinmin Dai whose wife got severe heart disease and whose daughter is cerebral palsy in 2011; such as Xinxin whose father got acute leukemia in 2007;such as Ahang who lost father and his mother has a mental problem…….
In fact, "Aunt Johnson" is facing many of her own challenges. Her monthly retirement pays only meager daily bread; her husband recently ill, being treated, and her many years of suffering with Moliere’s syndrome ... ...
"Aunt Johnson" is such a side of “mirror ”lighting disabled families.