Blind, Disabled Child Prodigy Wins 1st Place in National Writing Contest

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Shirley Cheng, a blind and physically disabled 22-year-old author, tied for 1st place in the second Annual Be the Star You Are!™ Writing Contest. She will appear live on the nationally syndicated radio program, Be the Star You Are!, with host Cynthia Brian on Wednesday, January 11, 2006 at 6:30-6:40 p.m. PST on worldtalkradio.com.

Shirley Cheng (http://www.shirleycheng.com), a blind and physically disabled 22-year-old author tied for 1st place in the second Annual Be the Star You Are!™ Writing Contest. She appeared live on the nationally syndicated radio program, Be the Star You Are!, with host Cynthia Brian on Wednesday, January 11, 2006 at 6:30-6:40 p.m. PST, and the interview is archived at http://www.worldtalkradio.com/archive.asp?aid=5870 Additionally, her essay will be published in StarSearcher Express newsletter and at http://www.bethestaryouare.org.

Shirley's winning entry, titled Jewel from Heavenly Father, is dedicated to her beloved mother Juliet Cheng.

Shirley Cheng (b. 1983), a blind and physically disabled author and poet of three books, was diagnosed with severe juvenile rheumatoid arthritis at only eleven months old. Due to years of hospitalization, she received no schooling until age 11. Having achieved grade level in all areas after merely 180 days in a special education class in elementary school, she was transferred to a regular sixth grade class in middle school. Unfortunately, Shirley lost her eyesight at the age of seventeen. After a successful eye surgery, she hopes to earn five science doctorates from Harvard University.

Shirley is also an advocate of parental rights in children's medical care, students with special needs, and people with disabilities, and has the vision of a better America for both parents and children. She is a victim and miracle survivor of not only her painful disease but more so of serious faults in American medical system, including two custody cases her mother, Juliet Cheng, had battled and won after disagreeing with doctors' recommended treatments, one of which lasted for five months in 1990 in Connecticut that made international headlines on major media, like The New York Times and The Associated Press, and gained the support of Katharine Hepburn and Taiwan's former first lady. Juliet and her lawyer, George Athanson -- a former mayor of Hartford, Connecticut, for eleven years -- appeared on CBS This Morning with Paula Zahn. Shirley is also the victim of abusive behavior and mistreatment from one-to-one aides for years while attending public schools. Using her new voice as an adult, Shirley now fights to protect today's parents and children and the future of America. She hopes to bring awareness to the public with her 700-page autobiography, The Revelation of a Star's Endless Shine: A Young Woman's Autobiography of a 20-Year Tale of Trials & Tribulations.

Shirley Cheng is the author of Daring Quests of Mystics (ISBN: 1-4116-5664-4), written at the age of 20. Her autobiography, The Revelation of a Star's Endless Shine: A Young Woman's Autobiography of a 20-Year Tale of Trials and Tribulations (ISBN: 1-4116-1860-2), written at age twenty, was self-published at age 21, as well as Dance with Your Heart: Tales and Poems That the Heart Tells (ISBN: 1-4116-1858-0), an anthology of inspirational and fantasy short stories and poems she had written between the ages of twelve and twenty-one. She had been published twice before her writing career. One of her short stories, Mary Miller, the Elusive Lady, was published by the Poughkeepsie Journal in 1997 as an Honorable Mention for a writing contest, and a poem, The Colors of the Rainbow, was published in Celebrate! New York Young Poets Speak Out in 1999.

Visit her website at http://www.shirleycheng.com

Shirley has appeared on Be the Star You Are! radio show twice, Stu Taylor on Business, The Dr. Maxine Thompson Show, A Story to Tell on Global Talk Radio, and will be scheduled for more radio appearances. She was featured on World Journal, the largest national Chinese daily newspaper in North America.

Shirley is available for interviews, book signings, speaking engagements, and other book and inspiration-related events.

Contact Shirley Cheng:

Telephone: 775-667-9451

Fax: 775-766-8667

Website URL: http://www.shirleycheng.com

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