When she was a child, Hyun Mi lived a life free of worry, full of fun and laughter. However, as years passed, the growing food shortage made getting through each day increasingly difficult. She graduated high school at the height of the famine and thus never had the opportunity to pursue higher education. Instead, she worked with her parents in the markets selling and trading goods. It was during this time that Hyun Mi came down with tuberculosis, leaving her extremely weak and frail. However, even though she worked hard, she could not afford treatment.
Hyun Mi decided to escape after realizing that as long as she stayed in North Korea, there was next to nothing she could do to improve her situation. Once in China, she sought out people who could help her make the arduous journey to a free life. She eventually connected with LiNK’s network and was brought to safety. Now, strong and optimistic about the future, Hyun Mi aspires to study medicine in South Korea, hoping to become a nurse or doctor one day. She remembers how it felt to be sick and helpless and does not want people to suffer as she did.