Before there was “us,” there was just me.

I was born overseas in a refugee camp, immigrated as a baby, and was raised in Cincinnati. In college, I studied biomedical engineering at the University of Cincinnati.

As a part of my program requirement, I had to complete a few semesters of co-op. I accepted a co-op position in Pittsburgh at a large medical device company.

Taking only my car, a laundry basket, and some textbooks, I moved to my new city that I would call home for six months.


As for my husband, he grew up in Philly also to refugee parents who fled the country for the same reason my parents and I did. He studied electrical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University.

We Met In Pittsburgh and Quickly Became Friends

Already starting co-op in Pittsburgh and ready to connect with other people in my new city, I was on Facebook trying to find new friends.

In 2006, social media wasn’t really a thing back then. It was two years after Facebook was created. People didn’t use Facebook to find NEW friends. You had to have a college email and it was used to connect with EXISTING friends.

I was a weirdo.

I couldn’t resist clicking on an electrical engineering major at Carnegie Mellon University with a Vietnamese name who lived right in my neighborhood. And I messaged that complete stranger.

He actually replied and we chatted!

The next day in what became the most important meeting of our lives, we met for coffee at the Starbucks in Squirrel Hill.

He wore a hoodie and glasses. He was quiet, shy, incredibly nerdy, but very genuine. I instantly fell in love with how kind and gentle he was.

Even though we just met, I felt like I knew him my whole life.

Throughout the summer, we connected because of how much we had in common in terms of our values and what we wanted in life.

Falling In Love With My Future Husband

We soon became the bestest of friends.

Our convos went like this:

“I played Final Fantasy VII, too!”
“My parents left Vietnam on a boat, too!”
“Oh, I go to the same church!”
“My mom also beat me with chopsticks!”

We went months like this. But as we were hanging out one day, I gathered all my courage to say to him:

 Me: I like you.

Now-Husband: …I like you, too.

Then he reached out and held my hand. I think my heart exploded of joy. I consider that the day we became girlfriend and boyfriend.

Facing A Fork In The Road: Long Distance or Move?

Summer and my co-op were coming to an end. I counted down my final days in Pittsburgh. Fall classes were waiting for me and soon I’d be back in Cincinnati.

Would we last long distance? What if we don’t see each other again?

We faced a road not taken. We could turn left, when we could have turned right.

My now-husband surprised me because in what was the most important move in his life, he said, “I’m going to apply for jobs in Cincinnati.”

He did. he got one. And he moved to be with me because he said he needed to chase his dreams.

The Medical Journey Begins

After his move to Cincinnati, he left the engineering field and pursued a second career of medicine.

We got married during the first year of medical school in 2011 and started the medical journey. We had three kids during training. And he’s still in training to hopefully become a GI doc.

I Started

In September 2017, I had the energy and will to create so that you can learn the lessons I did along the medical journey.

I am hugging and supporting you!