When Xia first arrived in Oklahoma in 1995, he didn't anticipate staying. He planned to stay for a few years, study and then move back to China.
Xia wrote that letter in the early 1990s because he was interested in working with researchers at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation.
He had heard about doctors like Dr. Rodger McEver and his work with blood vessel research. And Xia wanted to be a part of that. The location of OMRF was secondary for Xia and his family.
“It's important for a place to be known, not sometimes by the land, but most of the time by the people, the people who live there,” he said. “It's the people that make the place famous.”
Xia regularly goes back to China and has continued collaborating with his colleagues there.
He has now lived in Oklahoma longer than his hometown in the Shandong province in China.
“This has become my second hometown,” he said.