Maria Chan was born in Hong Kong to a businessman father and a homemaker mother. She has two brothers, and they grew up in the Mid-Levels in Hong Kong Island. She studied in MaryKnoll Sisters School, which was run by American nuns of Dominican order. Influenced by her favorite teacher in Geography, she went onto studying Geography and Geology in University of Hong Kong from 1960-63; and after that, obtained a Diploma of Education for teaching senior high school. During these times, she represented Hong Kong in the Uber Cup competition, which is the Women’s International Badminton Competition back then, which is equivalent to World Cup today, in three games: 1956 Hong Kong vs. Malaya (now Malaysia), 1959 Hong Kong vs. Malaya, 1962 Hong Kong vs. India. In university, she continued to participate in Inter-Varsity competition against Singapore and Malaysia, and was the Sports Captain of Duchess of Kent Hall of Hong Kong University; she was also a member of the Legion of Mary. After obtaining her BA degree and Diploma of Education in 1964, she taught for three years in St Paul’s Co-educational College as a senior high school geography teacher. She fondly spoke of how many students of hers back then still kept in touch and are friends with her till today. In 1967, she got married to the page boy at a wedding where she was the flower girl during their childhood, in London, Ontario, Canada. After marriage and the immigration, she became a homemaker devoted to her new family; her busy husband developed his career to become an internal medicine resident physician. The couple moved from London, Ontario to St. Louis, Missouri, to Nashville Tennessee, and finally, Houston, TX, where they’ve been living till now. They have one daughter and one son, both Ivy League graduates.