It was in the orphanage where she taught herself to walk using stools and started to work, helping out with the other children.
Xu helped with washing, feeding, changing nappies, cleaning and even making shoes for the orphans. Over the past 37 years, Xu has worn out more than 40 stools, and brought up more than 130 orphans, who all call her Big Mum.
One of the first children she cared for, Sheng Li, who has a harelip and was dumped in the gutter as a baby, credits Xu with saving her life.
"Without Big Mum, I would have died long ago. Her stool walking was the most beautiful sound to me then," she said.
In 1987, Xu married Lai Ziyuan, a vegetable farmer at the orphanage. Three years later, their son, Lai Mingzhi, was born but she continued to care for the orphans.
"I am actually not a great person, but do what I have to do - to bring these poor kids a mother's love," said Xu.
Source: orange news