“ My life, my wisdom- all for Cerebral Palsy Children”

Dinh Thi Lan Anh

“My family along with my best friend’s family traveled to Phu Yen, groped from 4 a.m to catch the first sunrise in the Easternmost point of the country. She was tired and she stopped at the foot of the lighthouse. She had reason to stop. Later, her children would conquer the top of the lighthouse by themselves. They would come back! For me, I had to continue my journey to bring my daughter to get to the top of the lighthouse, to catch the first sunrise on the East Sea. I knew, that was my only chance. My girl would never be able to come back here anymore, because when she has grown up, I would not be strong enough to carry her to the top. And I also know my legs can’t conquer it, because I was a baby has cerebral palsy, congenital Cerebral Palsy. And I knew, my girl could not be able to conquer it by herself, because she was a child who was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. I have never regretted the journey that I have been through. I am proud of how we hold hands to accept the truth and smile every day because of her little improvement.  Thank you- my little Kẹo- for always bringing the sweet aftertaste to our family”.

That was the story shared on facebook by Dinh Thi Lan Anh, a mom of a “superman”. After a long time hoping and waiting, her first child was a brain-disability child. Many mothers out there are stressed out and frustrated with their children’s daily problems such as anorexia, and falling… So how could she overcome the great storm of her life?

Putting aside her own plans and dreams, Lan Anh dropped out of her Doctoral in Laws to wholeheartedly accompany her daughter on the rehabilitation journey. She shared: “I could learn all of my life, but my daughter just has the first 3 years to have early intervention”. I do not feel glorious when holding my doctoral degree knowing that I take  away my daughter’s opportunity”. So she chose what to do as the whispering of the mother’s heart. With her mother’s companionship, Kẹo is now over 4 years old and she can crawl and learn to stand up.

Along with her efforts to help her child with rehabilitation and treatment, Lan Anh also learns and explores the traditional remedies to support the Cerebral Palsy children. Starting with homemade papaya liquid extracts that she cooked as a gift for Cerebral Palsy children, her desire grows. Beyond the medical treatment, children need to live a life like normal people: to be loved, to not be discriminated from their family and society! The mothers also need to live a life of sharing and not to be imprisoned by obsession. It’s is a long and difficult journey, so we need to start to work immediately. Lan Anh has dropped out of her career as a University Lecturer and gathered her fellow mothers to form The Superman Family Voluntary Association. Within 2 years, from the self-pity mother, she has built up a team with professionalism and has carried out a noble mission that could be able to change the lives of Cerebral Palsy children and their mothers.

The Superman Family Voluntary Association became the Cerebral Palsy Family Association Vietnam which is affiliated with Vietnam Federation for Disabled, gathered almost 3000 Cerebral Palsy children across the country. Superman Family is a common home for Cerebral Palsy children, where parents can share experiences of care and treatment for their children. And Lan Anh has become a spiritual leader who helps parents overcome the psychological shocks, overcome their difficult circumstances to accept their child, and be confident to bring out their child to being integrated.

In the last 4 years, she has devoted herself to the goal of changing the society’s mindset about Cerebral Palsy: Cerebral Palsy- the children were bỏn are innocent. Everyone should spread their arms to love the child and the child with only mobile disabilities still be able to become the useful one when given the opportunity.

Nowadays, Superman Family has become a large united prestigious community with the community- based rehabilitation programs, programs to connect the compassionate to contribute to improve the life’s quality for Cerebral Palsy children. The story about Lan Anh and Superman Family is a source of inspiration for many VTV programs such as Viec Tu Te, The 7th Wish, Hanh phuc la gi.

 When asked, Lan Anh shared: ” Gave birth to a child with Cerebral Palsy has turned my life as well as many other mothers into new crossroads.  We were forced to sacrifice our career to accompany our child. But also from that crossroads, we found joy in the progress of our children and found passion in our new job as the executive of the cerebral palsy network across the country.  Sometimes it was tiring, but thanks to Keo and 3000 children of the Superman Family and many other unknown cerebral palsy children motivated me to devote my ability and intelligence to the community. Keo might not be healed as a normal child, but she is the girl who always brings energies of love and happiness to help me realize that It is worth living every minute. Thank you for changing me”.

As a founder and leader of the Association, Lan Anh truly spend her life, her wisdom for cerebral palsy children, and her child, as well. She deserves to be an inspirator for other mothers, for those who have concerns about this life.

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