Qian Hongyan's story sounds impossible. At the age of three, an accident took both of her legs, forcing her to figure out a practical way to get around. Her most useful tool was a basketball, which covered the bottom of her torso and provided her some protection while moving. Though her circumstances are certainly unusual, it's Qian's determination to survive that's the most noteworthy detail of this story. That any human, especially one as young as her, would fight as hard as she did to live a great life is inspiring.
When we say that her story sounds impossible, it isn't the things that happened to her that are hard to believe. The world is a crazy place, and bizarre things happen to people every day. No, her story sounds impossible because of how she reacted to her circumstances. A determination like Qian's doesn't happen every day. Below are some images that follow Qian on her inspirational journey.
Qian used a basketball and floor brushes to scoot and pull herself wherever she needed to go.
The China Rehabilitation Research Center has designed some custom prosthetic legs for her.
She anxiously waits as they put on the finishing touches.
Using crutches and prosthetics takes a lot of training.
She's glad to have a pair of legs that she can use regularly.
Qian is an avid swimmer and actually prefers to use the basketball while in the water.
She didn't let anything stop her from living the life she wanted.
Qian is now an accomplished swimmer. At the 10th Yunnan Province Games for the Disabled, she won first place in the 100-meter breaststroke. In 2009, she earned medals at the National Swimming Championship for the Disabled. Qian never stopped striving, and neither should we.