Generation Grit

Sailing through stormy seas to stand tall

Yap Qian Yin, 27, was diagnosed with leukaemia when she was four. She was fine until a relapse at 17 left her paralysed. Undeterred, she turned to sailing and won a gold medal at the 2015 Asean Para Games.
Ms Yap Qian Yin, who has taken part in international competitions as a para-sailor and won a gold medal at the 2015 Asean Para Games, goes for training in wheelchair badminton at Yio Chu Kang Sports Hall. She likes the excitement and intensity of the
Ms Yap Qian Yin, who has taken part in international competitions as a para-sailor and won a gold medal at the 2015 Asean Para Games, goes for training in wheelchair badminton at Yio Chu Kang Sports Hall. She likes the excitement and intensity of the game and trains three times a week.ST PHOTO: BENJAMIN SEETOR
Ms Yap Qian Yin, who has taken part in international competitions as a para-sailor and won a gold medal at the 2015 Asean Para Games, goes for training in wheelchair badminton at Yio Chu Kang Sports Hall. She likes the excitement and intensity of the
Ms Yap gearing up for training in wheelchair badminton, a sport that she picked up about two years ago.ST PHOTO: BENJAMIN SEETOR
Ms Yap gearing up for training in wheelchair badminton, a sport that she picked up about two years ago.
Ms Yap gearing up for training in wheelchair badminton, a sport that she picked up about two years ago.ST PHOTO: BENJAMIN SEETOR

A spinal cord inflammation, while she was undergoing treatment for cancer in her teens, upended Yap Qian Yin's life for good. But somehow she found the will to go on and live large on the national stage, the 27-year-old tells The Straits Times in this series about millennials who inspire us with their courage and resilience. This is her story.

"I still remember clearly the day when the doctor told me, 'Sorry, you'll be unable to walk for the rest of your life.'

My mind went blank - I couldn't accept it and I kept crying. I was only 17 years old.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 23, 2018, with the headline 'Sailing through stormy seas to stand tall'. Print Edition | Subscribe