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Triumph of the spirit

By Xu Lin | China Daily | Updated: 2021-12-29 08:32
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Sun Chenlu shares online how she overcomes the challenges of adapting to life in a wheelchair and posts on social media her photos taken during trips with her parents. The 30-year-old is now an influencer, with about 90,000 followers on Xiaohongshu, a social media and lifestyle platform.  CHINA DAILY

Sun Chenlu likes to give makeup and style tips on Chinese social media. The desire to look attractive is universal, especially among young people.

Sun, 30, is in a wheelchair since a car accident made her paraplegic four years ago. Now, she's an influencer, with about 90,000 followers on Xiaohongshu, or Little Red Book, a social media and lifestyle platform.

She also has two part-time jobs-selling fresh fruit on WeChat and writing marketing articles online for a study-abroad consultancy.

"I'm like a 'new me' that has crawled back to the human world from hell. If life is like a flight, I've gone off course but didn't crash. I'm doing my best to return to my track and have a new start," Sun writes on social media.

"Many people told me that I'm like a light coming into their life. At the same time, it's because of their encouragement that I can come out of the haze and lead a new life."

She lives in her hometown, Guiyang, Guizhou province, where she's taken care of by her parents. Before the accident, she worked in a study-abroad consultancy in Beijing and planned to pursue a doctorate in Canada, and had traveled to about 20 countries.

She studied for her bachelor's degree at Shanghai University of International Business and Economics and completed her postgraduate studies at University of Bristol in the United Kingdom.

Her life changed completely in January 2017. She was then in Beijing, going by taxi to the airport for a trip to Singapore for the upcoming Lunar New Year, when the accident happened on a highway.

She spent a great deal of time in intensive care and had five operations. A spinal cord injury paralyzed her from the waist down. It was a blow for her, and she felt really depressed until she gradually recovered due to her strong spirit and her parents' support.

"Now I focus more on the things that I'm capable of doing in a wheelchair and what I like to do, such as writing and painting. When you can't change the reality, you have to change yourself," she says.

She's writing a book about her life story, thanks to an invitation by a publisher.

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