Khanh Dinh dedicated his career to saving the world through his inventions, and now he’s continuing his legacy of finding solutions to build a better world through his philanthropy.
When Khanh Dinh and his family fled Vietnam after the fall of Saigon in 1975, Khanh dedicated his life making the world a better place. Throughout his career, he invented resources and devices that successfully solved heat and humidity problems for NASA, Disney and the US Department of Energy through his copper heat pipe technology. He remained dedicated to discovering ways to create infinite sources of energy. He went on to invent solar-powered, low-cost energy solutions that are used all around the world today.
Today, Mr. Dinh is dedicated to helping UF Health researchers, like Norman Beatty, M.D., an assistant professor in the UF College of Medicine’s division of infectious diseases and global medicine, uncover solutions to help others survive and recover from Chagas disease, a neglected tropical disease, transmitted by the kissing bug, which is endemic to Latin America.
When Mr. Dinh first started experiencing fatigue, fever and body aches, and had trouble recovering, he sought out help for answers.
“I got sick, and nobody bothered to test me [for Chagas Disease] because they said testing wouldn’t do me any good, and this disease is so rare in in the US,” he said.
That’s when Mr. Dinh came to UF Health and met Dr. Beatty. According to a recent UF Health article covering Chagas disease, an estimated 7 million people carry the disease, with most of those asymptomatic and unaware they are infected with the chronic illness. Beatty, said fewer than 1% of the 300,000 people in the U.S. infected by Chagas disease have been diagnosed.
“We want to educate on the importance of screening for Chagas disease because it can be fatal,” said Norman Beatty, M.D., a UF Health infectious disease specialist who is leading the prevalence study.
“The fear is that patients would go without a diagnosis until it is too late.”
If patients and medical practitioners are unaware of the disease, diagnosis can be delayed many years until the infection is so advanced that the odds of survival are diminished. That was the case for Mr. Dinh.
“When you’re close to death, you become imaginative.”
While Mr. Dinh has already beaten all odds, as he fell more ill, he found a new passion: continuing his legacy of finding solutions to build a better world for all.
“If I die, and my funds just go to each child, how far will that actually go? This way, my money goes a lot farther and can do something good for society too,” he said.
With Mr. Dinh’s charitable remainder unitrust, he found a way to not only provide an income for his children, but to also fund research to ensure that others who contract Chagas Disease have a fighting chance.
“I am doing a little bit like Dr. Cade and other famous inventors,” he said. “They know they cannot take it with them, so they want to give it back.”