This disabled senior has been planting trees for almost 20 years: now a real forest has grown -
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This disabled senior has been planting…
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This disabled senior has been planting trees for almost 20 years: now a real forest has grown

July 11, 2021 • By Alison Forde

Imagine that you have reached the third age, that you no longer have both legs but that you have such fire and energy within you that you manage to plant thousands of seeds and give birth to an entire forest, full of trees. An apparently impossible undertaking for anyone, but not for Ma Sanxiao, an elderly man who wanted to repay the favor granted him by the Chinese state for the gift of his the two prosthesic legs, giving life to a luxuriant forest through almost 20 years of tireless effort.

But Sanxiao was only in his twenties when he was struck by sepsis, which forced him to take leave of his military service and give up his dream of becoming a spy for the Chinese army. Unfortunately, the sepsis worsened his leg infection and with the passage of time it was necessary to amputate, first the right lower limb, then the left one, until his family went into enormous debt to find him the best treatment, which unfortunately turned out to be useless...

To pay off a debt of over 200 thousand yuan, equal to almost 30 thousand dollars, Ma Sanxiao has done an extraordinary thing that he has kept up for almost twenty years, bringing unexpected fruits: every day he wakes up at 5 in the morning to get to the mountain and plant some seeds; from those seeds more than 17 thousand trees have been born, forming a beautiful forest!

Imagine a retired man of more than 70 years without legs who drags himself with his strength and iron will up a mountain to achieve an extraordinary thing, to repay all that the Chinese state had done for him and to improve his life; it won't bring his legs back, the family's monetary debts are proving difficult to pay off in a short time, but the fact is that Ma Sanxiao has given his land a gift beyond all economic value, born from his commitment and his sweat: a green lung consisting of 17,000 trees!


Ma Sanxiao's work was completed in less than 20 years, seed after seed, day after day, difficulty after difficulty; a testimony of gratitude and a shining example of what it means to face the difficulties that life reserves for us with determination, an iron will and a great deal of hard of work.

Congratulations on everything you have managed to accomplish, Ma Sanxiao, Planet Earth will be forever grateful to you!


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