A paralyzed Chinese woman is helping her village out of poverty by setting up an e-commerce store. Li Juan, 33, lives in China’s Anhui province. She became ill with syringomyelia, a severe spine disease, in 2008, that left her paralyzed from the neck down. Her parents used up their life savings to pay for their daughter’s treatment. Unfortunately, they went into debt and the doctors told her that she will never regain usage of her body, reports Women of China.
Li went into a deep depression. Mentally and physically, she was spent. Her weight went down to 55 pounds and her stomach shrank. She couldn’t eat solid food anymore and had to drink liquid meals to live.
She was an independent woman and now she relied on her parents for everything. Even more, the future looked dark. However, her mood started to get better when her parents got her a smartphone. It connected her to the outside world and out of her bedroom. Furthermore, she figured out how to help her parents make some extra money.
In the winter of 2015, her parents had a hard time selling their apples due to the heavy snow. So Li put her internet skills to use and set up an e-commerce store on popular sites like Wechat and JD. Before she knew it, she was making deals for her parents. She would take the orders and her father would deliver the apples. This was the start of Li finding meaning in her life.
Now Li doesn’t just help her parents, she helps her village too. Last year Li sold more than $86000 worth of fruit for her village. “E-commerce had changed my life. Not only did I start my own business and brand my family’s fruit, but I also help local farmers shake off poverty,” Li told the People’s Daily, China.
Although she is paralyzed, the young woman continues to move forward. Using a makeshift stylus pen made up of two pencils taped together in her mouth, she types away on her smartphone making sales every day.