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04/04/2009 15:27 | 2,084 lượt xem
Cancer is doing little to deter Huynh Phuc Dien, director of charity-gala Charming Vietnam. Now more than ever, he's living life to its fullest.
I got up early for what I thought would be a typical interview with a local celebrity.
I was interviewing Huynh Phuc Dien, the director of the long-running, prestigious charity event, "Charming Vietnam." We started out with a casual cup of coffee and some small talk, but it soon turned out to be a moment I would never forget.
The interview became an inspiring lesson of hope and courage, as Dien, revealed to me that he had recently been diagnosed with liver cancer.
Initially involved in the 8th Charming Vietnam in 1998, Dien has now become the record-holder for most times directing the annual event.
The upcoming 19th gala to be held in Ho Chi Minh City's Hoa Binh Theater for four consecutive nights will be his 9th time directing.
The timing of Dien's diagnosis couldn't have been worse.
In November, two months before the opening of Charming Vietnam, he learned he would have to face the toughest battle of his life including major surgery.
"After spending a week with terrible abdominal pains, I went to the hospital. My heart skipped a beat when I received the deadly news; it was liver cancer."
It was the most difficult time Dien says he has ever experienced.
However, it was only a matter of days before he had resolved to overcome his fear of death and move on with his life.
The 38-year-old said he made a decision not to give up and would continue fighting.
"Life is about one's belief and strength of mind. Even patients who suffer from fatal conditions like HIV/AIDS can still live a long and full life," Dien asserts .
"I have accepted the cancer and I'm trying to move forward."
Feeling better these days, Dien is determined to proceed with his Charming Vietnam duties before he flies to Singapore on Sunday to face a liver operation .
Cancer has done little to slow his unwavering optimism and he still begins each day at 6 a.m., often not finishing until well after midnight.
Life of action
It's not exaggerating to call Dien a multi-talented legend in the local entertainment industry.
He has proved himself again and again as a director, designer and scriptwriter for nearly two decades.
As well, many of Vietnam's hottest young stars owe their success to Dien's keen eye for talent.
Directing the Charming Vietnam gala was a milestone in Dien's career, turning the man into the country's most famous show and stage master in 1998.
Having visited over 20 countries to study entertainment production methods, Dien reflects, "I believe the most efficient way to gain state-of-the-art techniques is to study from those who are already applying it . For instance, I travel as much as possible to such developed countries as the US to see directly what others are doing."
"To become a great director, one must have comprehensive knowledge in all sectors of entertainment. To become a distinguished director, creativity and courage to implement new things are a must."
New Year's optimism
Dien says that New Year's is a time when he stops and reflects on all the things he's done during the year.
"I like to take the time to sketch out goals for the year ahead."
This year, despite facing his biggest challenge yet, Dien says, "I have always longed to direct films – and I will make my lifelong dream come true."
Believing that he will be victorious in his battle against cancer, Dien keeps a smile on his face and his eyes shine with confidence.
Rehearsals for Thanh Nien's Charming Vietnam gala are proceeding as planned with some 200 individuals under Dien's directorship.
Dien's resolve to keep marching forward in the face of adversity is an inspiration and a poignant example of someone truly living life to the fullest.
Under Dien's co-directorship with director Dinh Anh Dung, this year's Charming Vietnam will kick off January 3-6, 2008, in Ho Chi Minh City's Hoa Binh Theater .
It will be a memorable event to be sure.
Reported by Luu Hong