China’s Elephant Man, a documentary on Huang Chuncai airs tomorrow night (Sunday, June 7th at 9PM) on National Geographic.
Huang Chuncai suffers from an extreme case of neurofibromatosis that has ravaged his upper body for most of his 31 years. His condition has stunted his growth, left his bones underdeveloped and has begun to strangle his breathing. While there is no cure, doctors feel that by removing the tumor, he can at least lead the normal life he’s always dreamed of.
What was most touching about this particular documentary, wasn’t the wonders of what modern medicine can accomplish or the life of someone who must contend with his disabilities, but rather the strength of the human spirit. There are many things in life that are unfair to Huang, however, it’s with the love of his family that he is able to have survived as long as he has. It’s a good lesson to be reminded of what is ultimately important to one’s life and the sacrifices that need to be made accordingly.