Tian Tian's Story (03:44)
A quadriplegic, Tian Tian has overcome odds to become an artist. China's economic revolution led to increased violent crime and she was attacked in 1995—losing her ability to move from the neck down.
Adjusting to Quadriplegia (02:55)
Tian Tian's dream of dancing was shattered and she realized she would always be a burden. Without help from the Chinese government, her father became her full time caretaker.
Opening New Doors (01:44)
Tian Tian' new stepmother helped her find ways to exercise her mind despite her quadriplegia—including reading on her own using a chopstick wrapped in adhesive tape.
Communicating with the Outside (02:33)
Tian Tian asked for a computer for her 15th birthday in 1999. She devised a system to operate it on her own using a chopstick—gaining social freedom and knowledge through the internet.
Building a Portfolio (03:14)
By 2001, Tian Tian had mastered Flash animation software, despite her quadriplegia. When her family had another baby, she started a website and began selling animations to contribute financially. View a work by "Tina Cartoon."
Launching a Career (02:41)
Tian Tian won a China TV Artist Association award and she began selling Flash pieces, despite her quadriplegia. As her career took off, she moved to Beijing to open a Flash studio with friends.
Starting a Business (02:16)
In Beijing, Tian Tian opened a Flash studio to become financially independent. She became involved with a recruit, who is attracted to her character and accepts her quadriplegia.
Competing in the Animation Industry (01:02)
Tian Tian attends meetings and makes deals, like any Beijing business owner—insisting she receive no special treatment for her quadriplegia.
Becoming Self-Sufficient (02:43)
Aday has become Tian Tian's caretaker as well as her business partner, allowing her to live independently in Beijing. Her father is proud of her achievements, despite being quadriplegic. View one of her Flash animations.
Credits: Tian Tian: Success against All Odds-China from Within (00:45)
Credits: Tian Tian: Success against All Odds-China from Within
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