What’s Right: Young cancer patient makes remarkable recovery in Houston


by Sherry Williams / KHOU 11 News


Posted on September 24, 2013 at 11:06 AM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 25 at 10:40 AM

HOUSTON -- We have a great follow-up story on a teenager from China who came to MD Anderson Cancer Center last year with, basically, a death sentence.

Her story still demonstrates “What’s Right” in Houston.

When we first met Anni Wan she was battling a rare form of soft tissue cancer. Doctors in her native China had given her three months to live. But Anni’s mom Ling Ling worked at a Chinese TV station, and an American friend who worked there became determined to get Anni to Houston. The trio didn’t have the necessary documents or money, however.

“We had to get a passport for Anni,” said Michael Blair. “We had to get a visa for Anni, and we had to come up with about $100,000 in two weeks, and somehow all that happened for us in communist China.”   

A Chinese benefactor put up the money (plus more) so uninsured Anni could be treated. Here in Houston, a non-profit group provided an apartment while someone else provided a car, and Anni began a rough process.

“Because her cancer was localized in a very critical part of her head, she couldn’t get surgery,” said Dr. Winston Huh.

The only option was intense chemotherapy and radiation.  And it worked. Anni went into remission.

“I feel better, more than last time,” said Anni.

“I firmly believe she’s been healed,” said Ling Ling Xu.

Anni is 17 now, and her hair has grown back. She enrolled at The Woodlands College Park High School, which was a risky move.

“She spoke some English, but she wasn’t really conversant at it.”

But Anni has thrived. In fact, she just earned an academic letterman’s jacket, and recently she applied for the honor society.

“She understands the price of life,” said Karen Erwin, a math teacher. “I mean really that’s what she gets now. It’s beautiful.”