Author's will of iron is inspiration for all

PUBLISHED : Friday, 11 August, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 11 August, 1995, 12:00am

HAVE you ever thought of taking your own life when you are in great pain? If you have, the story of Lau Hap, a handicapped writer, will show you that life is a precious gift that should not be abandoned.

Lau Hap, nicknamed 'Hsing Lih Tsi', was invited to speak at the '95 Banquet of Life held at Kowloon City Baptist Church last month.

Lau's joints have been decaying since she was struck by a bone disease at the age of 12. Her shoulders, arms and hands are mainly held together by muscles.

As Lau was in and out of hospital when she was young, she was only able to complete primary school.

However, she never gave up on studying in her own time.

She read many books and started writing.

The author visited Hong Kong nine years ago, after which she was severely ill.

The trip exhausted her and she had serious stomach problems.

She could not eat or drink for months. She had to be hospitalised and was fed intravenously.

She did not recover until after more than a year. The heavy medication she was on caused a lot of side effects.

'The worst time was one night during the Chinese New Year. I had a high fever and I was so sick I felt my soul leave my body,' she recalled.

That was one of the hardest times in her life. However, Lau never gave up her ambition.

She kept on writing.

She has published more than 20 books in the last 40 years and was named one of the 10 Most Outstanding Young Women In The Nation in 1980 in Taiwan.

She also won the National Award for Literature and the Arts: Essays in 1983.

She set up the Eden Social Welfare Foundation in 1982 and her active participation in charity work won her the Wu San-Lien Award in 1990.

Lau attributed her courage and achievements to her religion.

'Although I am handicapped and did not have much of an education, I am still able to write essays and books and do charity work. It is a gift from God.' Lau sets a good example for teenagers in despair.

'I'm too busy fighting my illness to think about death,' she said.

Flora Chan Kwai-yu, who attended the talk, said she found it extremely encouraging.

'I was inspired by Lau. Her bravery and determination have shed new light on my outlook towards life,' the handicapped woman said.