Mother struggles to raise obese twins with communication difficulties

China:   An inspirational single mum has won the hearts of a nation with her story of how she raised twin boys who both suffer from autism and cerebral palsy.

Ma Zhiqiu, 47, gave up her job after giving birth to twins Zhang Hangjun, 21, and Zhang Yuanjun, 21, who were diagnosed with cerebral palsy and autism.

The boys both became severely obese as they struggled with movement but the doting mum worked to be the main breadwinner as well as nursing her two young boys at their home in the city of Shanyang in Chinas northeast Liaoning Province.

The pair are now both grown up and Yuanjun is now an award-winning singer.

News of his success caused Ma's story to be highlighted in a local newspaper and word of her inspirational parenting has now spread across the nation.

She said: "The older boy Hanguin has a more severe case of cerebral palsy and is unable to move around the house by himself.

"But luckily, Yuanjun is able to look after himself a bit more and is able to help me.

"Both boys are beautiful and I don’t regret anything.

"Yuanjun is a gifted singer and now attends competitions around the country and has won several awards for his performances singing Italian and Russian classical pieces.

"He is also a keen piano player and for the past few years he has been having free lessons provided by the childrens welfare centre here.

"The teachers even donated us a piano so he can practice at home."

When not playing the piano or singing, Yuanjun helps his mum around the house and to look after his brother.

She said: "I have been teaching him how to look after his brother as I won’t live forever.

"I hope he will learn enough to be able to look after both himself and Hanguin."

After the story appeared in her local newspaper, people on social media have come out in praise of the loving mum.

One admirer, Zhu Yu, wrote: "This woman is simply amazing.

"An inspiration to us all."

Another, Yi Chuang, said: "I am also a single mum and Ma’s courage and devotion is so impressive.

"She is an angel."

And Lan Yeh posted: "Her boys are so lucky to have a mother as caring as she is.

"This is true love - to give up everything for the love of your children."