Beacon of Life

Compiled by Chang Yu Ming (張佑民)

Beacon of Life

Compiled by Chang Yu Ming (張佑民)

Knowing that Da Ai TV is supported by the proceeds from Tzu Chi's recycling efforts, Lin Yu-zheng worked extra hard in recycling to repay his gratitude. (Photo by Dai Dun-ren)

Looking back and describing himself as like a "trash" in his youth, Lin Yu-zheng (林裕鉦) was a delinquent and no stranger to drugs and alcohol. His mother moved house three times in a bid to bring him away from the bad influences, but to no avail. Unable to stop his drug addiction, his mother had no choice but to report him to the police and forced him into rehabilitation centre. Later, Lin was implicated in a crime and during the pending of final verdict, he drowned himself in alcohol every day, until he suffered from acute liver failure. While recovering at home, he happened to saw a drama on Da Ai TV which was based on the true story of a man who mended his wrongful ways and quitted his bad habits after joining Tzu Chi. "How can an organization change a person so much?" Lin was skeptical at first and he called Tzu Chi Pingdong office, asking to be a recycling volunteer.

A picture speaks a thousand words. Contrary to traditional beliefs, Lin Yu-zheng is the perfect real-life example showing that donating bone marrow is not harmful at all. (Photo by Wang You-hua)

While doing recycling, he interacted with the volunteers there and began listening to the teachings of Dharma Master Cheng Yen (證嚴上人). They often comforted him whenever he felt the urge to take revenge on the person that implicated him in the crime. "There is karma in all things and everything happens for a reason." When the final verdict came, he was able to accept the consequences and went calmly to serve his sentence. In jail, he kept in touch with Tzu Chi volunteers in Pingdong by exchanging letters and also listened to programs on Da Ai radio regularly. With the support and encouragements from Tzu Chi, he was able to kick his drug addiction completely.

After two years he was released on parole and he immediately went back to Tzu Chi Pingdong office to continue volunteering. Besides doing recycling work, he also went on house visits for the needy and helped clean their homes. He was also invited to do volunteer work in schools, even if too shy to do story-telling onstage he was very good at keeping the children in line.

From a delinquent to becoming a life-saving hero, Lin Yu-zheng hoped his life story can inspire others to become bone marrow donors as well. (Photo by Yan Lin-jhao)

In November 2010, Lin was found to be a bone marrow match for a leukemia patient, and had to do a second blood test to confirm the match. Wanting to be able to help others, he prayed every day for the match to be successful. His prayer was answered and he happily donated his stem cells six months later. "Thanks to you, now I can accompany my children growing up" was written on the thank-you card Lin received afterwards. He felt what he accomplished was very meaningful and how he not only saved a life, but by doing so kept a family whole as well. From then on he had been actively helping to recruit more people to register as a bone marrow donor.

In addition to being a bone marrow donor recruiter, Lin went around schools and army camps to educate youngsters on the danger of drugs, using his past experiences as effective life lessons. Moved by his life story, Da Ai TV approached him and asked if they could adapt his story into a drama. Reluctant at first, Lin recalled how it was the drama he saw on Da Ai TV which introduced him into Tzu Chi and eventually turned his life around. Lin agreed to the drama adaptation, hoping his life story could also guide other lost souls.

"Dharma Master Cheng Yen teaches us to always reflect on our own actions. I was lost once, and the story on Da Ai TV guided me and inspired me to do better, be better. I wish for my story to be a beacon for others as well." said Lin.

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