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Father dreams of being China’s Dick Hoyt

(People's Daily Online)    09:39, April 28, 2016
Father dreams of being China’s Dick Hoyt

Luo Shujian, a deliveryman in the city of Jinhua in east China’s Zhejiang province, has finished eight marathons together with his son, who suffers from cerebral palsy. Luo pushes his son in a stroller while he runs the races. 

As a result of oxygen deprivation to his brain at birth, Luo’s son, Zhibai was diagnosed with brain palsy when he was only six months old. A year and a half later, he developed epilepsy.

“Every time I look at other kids jumping around and having fun with their parents, there is this agony in my heart. But for the sake of Zhibai, I cannot give up,” said Luo.

One day, Luo happened to read about the story of U.S. marathon legend Dick Hoyt, whose son Rick had a similar condition to his own son’s. Dick has completed over 1,000 marathons, including the 30th Boston Marathon, by pushing his son in a wheelchair. Inspired by such a touching story, Luo decided to follow suit.

“Zhibai’s face always lights up when he sees people running past. Maybe I can make him happy by helping him to run a marathon,” Luo thought.

On November 1, 2015, Luo and Zhibai finished their first marathon in Hangzhou. Since then they have run across several other cities.

Luo recalled that during one of their marathons, Zhibai smiled and held his thumbs up. “I will keep running with Zhibai until I can no longer run,” Luo promised

Other people also support and encourage the father-son combo during their races. This made Luo wonder if he could make more of a difference. Therefore, in recent races, Luo always wears a blue T-shirt to help raise awareness for autistic children.

“I hope people can learn more about this special group,” Luo said. He also asks his fellow runners to join him in wearing autism awareness T-shirts. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Hongyu,Bianji)

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