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A beautiful challenge of stage actress

Posted December. 24, 2000 19:39,   


Actress Lee Ju-Sil, 56, has been fighting cancer for eight years. Her battle has prompted admiration of her strength, rather than pity for her plight.

"Birds¡¯ singing, car noises, voices of people¡¦I can hear the sounds of moving things outside. I wonder if I came in another place. I was so sick last night as if I felt I breathed my last¡¦I move my finger cautiously. I kept wiggled my toes. Ah! I raise my upper body all of a sudden from the bed and shout. Another day began. I will live well¡¦¡¯¡¯ (from Lee¡¯s essay book, ``At the Turn of My Life.¡¯¡¯)

Lee this year entered Kkottongnae Hyundo University of Social Welfare, founded by Eumsong Kkotttongnae (flower village).

A university official said last Friday, ``Lee applied for admission to our university in her capacity as a `person who contributed to society¡¯ but she successfully passed the written test of English and essay writing in a competition with other ordinary applicants.¡¯¡¯

She had knocked on the door of the university last year. On the eve of the announcement of the list of successful applicants in December last year, she said in a telephone interview. ``I would really love to be a successful aspirant. But I will not be disappointed, even if I fail.¡¯¡¯ She had failed.

In February this year, she went to Songji High School, an alternative school in Yonggwang, South Cholla Province, and taught the students there who failed to prepare themselves for the world of higher education at regular high schools. She was a councilor or surrogate mother or elder sister to her students.

She taught her students how to act on stage and they won a prize in a drama contest and gave a tour performance at various social facilities, including juvenile reformatories.

Her volunteer service career dates back 30 years, when she first visited the Holt Foundation to make a donation and to lend a helping hand at the facility for adopted children.

Since then, she visited Kkottongnae, Sorok Island, and Tongduchon, which plays home to a U.S. military base, to help patients with Hansen¡¯s disease.