What This Girl Does to Support Her Dad Will Leave You Heartbroken

If you’ve ever been a caregiver for someone living with a chronic or life-threatening condition, then no doubt you’ve had to wonder what’s waiting around the next corner. That question of “What do I do next?” can echo infinitely and prevent you from moving forward. So when someone continues to push forward despite all the setbacks, well that deserves some recognition.

For one 15-year-old girl in Shanghai, the circumstances kept mounting:

Shanghaiist tells the story of her father, a farmer for most of his life, began having back problems and had to give up his work. To make money, the family moved to the city and set up a small shop.

Then, after a physical confrontation, dear old dad fractured his spine and damaged his neck.

His upper body was paralyzed.

Authorities were contacted, charges pursued, but ultimately nothing could be done to help him. Why? Because the man also has ankylosing spondylitis, so the powers that be refused to attribute his condition to the actions of his assailants.

A necessary operation and other expenses left the family struggling to cover the costs.

And as if that weren’t enough, Mom left.

The burden of responsibility fell to the children…but that’s when this 15-year-old got creative.

In order to help pay for her father’s care, she dresses like a cow every day and charges people 5 yuan (approximately $0.80) to ride her. She does this in spite of the fact that local businesses are not kind to her, fearing she’ll drive away customers. And she does this even after being slapped by a man who thought she was cheating him. Each day, she takes home around 400 yuan (approximately $63).


Animal mascots
Businesses use people dressed as animals to attract people to businesses all the time. What’s different about this situation is that the mascot is the business! And for a great cause at that.

Saying “life’s not fair” on a website devoted to rare conditions is like printing “Caution: Contents may be hot” on a cup of freshly brewed coffee.

Instead of getting bogged down by these unfortunate circumstances, the fact that this girl cares enough to do what she can for her family should motivate us all. The fact that she loves her father enough to keep pushing forward is a reflection of the human spirit. The bond I have to assume they share is an example of the very best we can give each other.

While it can be so easy to get distracted by the negative, it’s possible to find the good in even the toughest of situations.

Head over to Shanghaiist to see this emotional story in pictures.

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