Anson Hui - A Young Pianist With An Inspirational Story
I first met Anson Hui at North York Music Festival Gala concert, where he performed Mozart's Piano Concerto No.20 in D minor. I was very much impressed by his mature and refined performance. It wasn't a few years later that I realized Anson has a truly inspirational story. But first, check out his amazing performance of this concerto!
(Anson's entrance is at 4:18)
(Anson will be performing alongside Ricker Choi on Saturday, April 13, 2013 - 7:30 pm at Glenn Gould Studio .)
I will like now to share with you Anson's story in his very own words, written on Nov 5, 2009 for his Baptise day:
"My name is Anson. I am 10 years old, and I’ll turn 11 by my Baptism Day. Albert Einstein once said ‘God doesn’t play dice’. I believe every single life is unique and special. Each has it’s own purpose and mission.
I was diagnosed with Glycogen Storage Disease at age 3. My liver can’t break down or store sugar from food in order to turn them into body energy. I need frequent feeding in daytime (drinking raw cornstarch) and an overnight feeding from a pump that hooks up to my G-tube (a tube that is implanted in my stomach) for the glucose supply. It’s been going on for 8 years and there’s still no cure for this disease. I’m much shorter than the average kid my age, and my growth is still very slow. My body also has a pop up tummy which carries my enlarged liver and kidney.
At age 4, a learning development test showed my mom that I was learning delayed. They said I needed to go to a special needs class in elementary school. My mom refused and she took me to a private school. In the same year, the doctor at Sick Children’s Hospital said it was very possible that I had autism as well.
Everything that parents don’t want to happen to their children, it seems it all happened to me. Well, is this the end of the story? Not yet…. and why did God put me here?
The pump that I use at night is like the IV in a hospital, but instead of putting a needle into my veins, I have it connected with my G-tube all night long. I used to ask my mom why the kids on TV could run to their parent’s room in the middle of the thunderstorm. And how come I seem locked to my bed and go nowhere at night. My mom always says that I don’t need to go anywhere, because she will come over anytime I need it. God has placed so many angels around me, my devoted parents, my grandparents that love me so deeply, my aunt who spends all her own holidays with me. My music teachers adore me and really teach me with their heart. My language teacher shares so much of his knowledge and experience with me. Auntie Lilian prays for me every step of the way since I was very little and many, many other angels protect me and help me grow better. Don’t tell me that’s LUCK… it has to be a great arrangement from YOU KNOW WHO …
As you can imagine, the developmental delay in my body and brain made me a target for bullies in school. I couldn’t express myself clearly. I was never able to say a sentence with more than three syllables before age 5. Some kids in grade 1 loved to make fun of me, they threw my shoes in the snow, played with my G-tube and pushed me around. But I was not able to tell my teacher or my mom. Kids even yelled at me and said I didn’t belong there and that I should go back to kindergarten. Even though I couldn’t speak well, I had a great gift from God that no one had noticed at that time. While everybody was busy talking, I listened and listened to all the sounds around me. I heard differently than the others. This rare gift from God is called ‘Perfect or Absolute Pitch’. This is very helpful for my piano playing. With God’s blessing, I have won some prizes in local music festivals and a national music competition.
My kindergarten principal said I should redo SK (senior kindergarten) because I wasn’t ready for elementary school. My grade one teacher said I was not able to handle grade 2 and I should stay in the same grade again. That really hurt my mom and me. She prayed and prayed. Finally, I switched to another school that allowed me to move on to grade 2. My determined mom made me do so many unusual practices and exercises since I was 4 years old that many people asked her to let it go. She had to do a lot of preparation that kept her up till 2 to 3 o’clock in the morning everyday. Then somehow, I started to ask ‘why’ for the first time (that’s a very important step for an autistic kid). At age 7, I started to talk better…and then…talk...A LOT…! My mom started home schooling with me two years ago. Thanks to my Lord, I’m working on Grade 8 at age 10. I really enjoy seeking knowledge and learning is fun for me. Now, a recent evaluation says I’m gifted.
Everything that parents want to happen to their children, it seems it all happened to me. Well, is it the end of the story? Not yet…. and I always wonder, what is my purpose and mission?
My mom always reminds me that I shouldn’t be too proud of my musical gift. And I know it’s a free gift from God. But how can I make it special or meaningful? Every time after 3 to 4 hours practice on my music, I see the combination of this gift from God and my work join together. I can hear every note and sound is filled with life and love. I think that’s the greatest. I never have stage fright while I’m playing in a competition because I know I’m not alone. God is always sitting beside me.
Last Christmas, an MRI test found an adenoma around my liver. The doctor told my mom that it’s going to grow because I’m growing. If it goes nasty, with my liver condition, there’s nothing they can do except a liver transplant. But a GSD patient is never a good candidate for a liver transplant. I’m glad that my mom told me everything and I’m not scared at all. I can’t decide many things that God has already planned but I can still choose to work on my dream because I still have workable hands and a body to do it. I know that’s always a reason for God to give me a special body and talent. My dream is to be a tool of God, to spread his Gospel through my music. So in the end, I can hand in a beautiful report card to my Lord in heaven with honor. And the most important thing is, I will never regret this journey on earth. NOBODY SHOULD!!!
Nov 5, 2009"