Thanh is the oldest of six children and was just eight years old at the Fall of Saigon. She was living in Tân Châu, just six miles from the Cambodia border and she remembers vividly the blood bath from the continued warfare between Vietnam and Cambodia. With Communism breathing down their backs and their wealth and freedom wiped out, Thanh's parents had to make an agonizing decision. Without enough gold to pay for a family of eight to flee Vietnam, they had to choose whether to stay together and face whatever came in the new Communist regime, or risk separating the family. In 1979, Thanh's parents found an opportunity for her to leave Vietnam, but they did not know that their 12 year old daughter, would embark on a journey fighting for her life.