While most 17-year-olds spend their times between friends, families, and studies, this Taiwanese teenage boy shoulders family struggles and responsibilities.
Wang Yuzhe who lives in Taichung, Taiwan with his sister and grandfather does not have any other options but to split his time between part-time job, school and taking care of his ill grandfather.
His parents passed away when he was still a child which led to him and his sister being taken care of by their grandparents.
Living in a small apartment together with their grandparents was still a blessing for the two siblings. Their grandfather who worked as a taxi driver earned just enough to raise Yuzhe and his sister.
They may not have much but life was good for the two siblings.
Unfortunately, life took a drastic chance when his grandfather was diagnosed with cancer. Yuzhe was only in his 6th grade at the time.
As time passed by, his grandfather’s condition worsened and two years later, he was completely bedridden.
Due to his grandfather’s condition, Yuzhe had no choice but to step up as the breadwinner for his family.
At such a young age, Yuzhe not only has to keep up with his studies but also to work part-time and take care of his grandfather.
His daily routine includes him bathing and massaging his grandfather before going to school. In spite of that, Yuzhe has never complained.
“My grandfather has been taking care of me and my sister since I was a child, so it seems natural for me to take care of him now,” Yuzhe said.
Yuzhe who works part-time in a cafe earns around TWD 10,000 ($325) per month. A huge portion of his earning usually goes to the rent and his grandfather’s medical bills.
In spite of his tough situation, Yuzhe remains optimistic and positive.
He dreams of becoming a barista and is currently learning to play saxophone with the hope of living a better life.
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The teenage boy may be only 17 years old but he seems more mature and sensible compared to his young age.
Hence, it is not a surprise that he was awarded the “Great Taichung Young Hero” award not once but twice!
We sincerely wish all the best for you, Wang Yuzhe!