Paralysed Woman Bed-Bound For 32 Years Becomes Amazing Artist
There are inspiring stories, and then there is the story of Zhang Junli.
The Chinese artist is well known in her own country, and her story is now going global after an exhibition showcased her talents to the world.
Zhang suffers from rheumatoid arthritis and has almost no joint movement, leaving her bed-ridden and unable to move without help.
She was diagnosed with her condition at the age of six - she is now 40 - and has been totally paralysed since she was eight.
Nevertheless, she has carved out a career as an artist and now makes money by selling her works online from her home in Taiyuan, the capital of Shanxi Province, in the north of China.
She paints by clasping a brush in her hand and then moving her shoulders, which have a greater range of movement than her wrists, which are paralysed.
"I sold my last painting this morning," said Zhang. "I can't believe this. I am so touched by everyone's support. It truly feels like a dream.
"I can move my hip, shoulders and neck a little. Other than that, I can't move at all.
"Painting transformed me. The first time I picked up a brush, it's as if I have found my calling. I felt that I lived to draw."
Her friends show her images from their travels to inspire her and introduce her to worlds that she cannot see for herself.
"This way, even if I couldn't get out of the house, I get to see beautiful landscapes, skies and seas - I can still explore the world with my paint and my canvas," she said.
"I want to encourage people who are in the same situation as I am to not give up on themselves
"Instead of crying and worrying all day, explore your identity and find your meaning in life. Live in the present."
Featured Image Credit: CNSTV