38-year-old Wesley Wee, from Singapore, was born with cerebral palsy, and has never had any control over most of the muscles in his body. He is stuck in a wheelchair, and is unable to dress or feed himself, so writing a book seems out of the realm of possibility. However, his physical disabilities didn’t stop this ambitious man from spending five years typing every letter in his inspiring book, “Finding Happiness Against the Odds”, with just the big toe on his right foot.Growing up, Wesley had to deal no only with the challenges of his crippling condition, but also the abuse of his parents who were unable to deal with the hardships of raising a disabled child, and often took their frustration out on him. His mother would hit him and say things like “You good for nothing, si geena (dead child in Hokkien), it is better you die,” to him, and his father pushed him to do difficult exercises every night, in an attempt to make him walk normally.
As a boy, Wesley was forced to use a walking frame to make ten rounds around the living room every night, a task that sometimes proved too difficult to complete. That’s when his father would lose his temper, drag him to the bathroom and dunk his head into a bucket full of water. His few happy childhood memories are of his grandmother, who, realizing the constant abuse he was subjected to, took him to live with her and ensured he received an education at the Spastic Children’s Association, something that his parents thought would be wasted on him.