|Motivational: Christine Ha, a vision-impaired American-Vietnamese woman who won the reality show US MasterChef in 2012, shared her inspiring personal story with young people in HCM City yesterday. — Photo courtesy of DRD Centre
HCM CITY (VNS) — Christine Ha (Ha Huyen Tran), a vision-impaired woman who won the 2012 US MasterChef contest, yesterday motivated young Vietnamese, especially those with disabilities, to stand up and move ahead to achieve success in life when faced with problems and upheaval.
Speaking at a talk show organised by the Disabilities Research and Capacity Development Centre in HCM City and Hoa Sen University, she said: "Keep moving forward with your life and remember that you have the strength to achieve what you want.
"If you really believe in yourself, you can reach the stars."
The Vietnamese-American chef from Texas lost her sight when she was 20 to neuromyelitis optica, a chronic disorder of nerve tissues.
Unable to see or walk, it was a traumatic time for her, she said.
Listening to audio books helped her escape boredom and develop a passion for literature, which motivated her to get a master's degree in creative writing.
She did not cook anything until she went to college. Her love for cooking increased when she saw the joy other people who ate her food expressed. She had to learn cooking by herself since her mother had passed away when she was just 14.
"Both cooking and writing are a way to create something and share myself with other people," she said.
Thanks to organisations in the US like the centre, she learnt skills for independent living including basic cooking skills. Through them, she also went to university and learnt how to use technology.
It is important to have a positive attitude and keep moving ahead, taking advantage of the opportunities and resources available to achieve self-sufficiency, she said.
Anyone could have problem and even upheaval in life, but they should stand up to try and achieve success in life, she said.
Do Nguyen Anh Thu of District 10, who is also blind, said she felt motivated and encouraged after hearing from Christine.
Le Thi Anh Xuan was another person with visual disability to fell stimulated, saying the talk was very useful for her and others with disabilities.
"It makes me feel confident about life. I will do better." — VNS