Lad with fragile bones shows his unbreakable spirit

KUALA LUMPUR - Most people take standing and walking for granted but not Daniel Lee, for whom the act of standing up five years ago was in itself a major feat.

The 21-year-old was born with osteogenesis imperfecta, a genetic disorder that causes bones to be brittle and fragile.

Throughout his growing years, his bones had broken "countless times".

Because of his condition, he stopped walking when he was two.

Lee also could not stand as his body weight would have caused his bones to snap.

Five years ago, he had titanium rods inserted in his legs to strengthen them.

"I managed to stand for 30 seconds for the first time. It was a different sensation. It was scary and painful because I hadn't used my legs for 14 years but it was also an accomplishment," he said, adding that he can now walk 30 steps and stand for up to 20 minutes.

Lee chalked up another milestone when he stood to receive his Advanced Diploma in Social Science (Psychology) from Tunku Abdul Rahman (TAR) College council member Datuk Chua Tee Yong yesterday.

He received thunderous applause from the 550 graduates and guests.

Lee is active in sports and has taken part in the 10km Standard Chartered and Nike runs in his wheelchair as well as a half marathon.

He also started playing volleyball for the disabled three weeks ago.

"I hope to be able to do a full marathon soon," he said.

Lee has no plans to continue his studies for now, preferring to work with NGO RunNat as a mission coordinator to raise funds for the poor and underprivileged.

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