About 2 years ago, I was diagnosed with cancer. Chemo & 4 operations later, I was about ready to re-start my life. To celebrate my recovery, I decided to throw a concert as a former pianist.
On the day I supposed to enjoy my new life, so many people were flushed away or buried under collapsed buildings at the other side of the world... There were big earthquakes and Tsunami. When I came home after the concert, I sat on the cold wooden floor and stared at the shocking scenes, which had been broadcast continuously on TV. I don't know why but I was crying unconsciously for long time.
During my fight for my life, I learnt so many things; How precious the life would be. How hard to be yourself when things are out of your control. How difficult to fight back if it is endless. Nothing matters if you are alive. To be thankful for what I have... etc. etc.
Due to my experiences, I may be able to understand a little how those Earthquake / Tsunami survivors would feel right now. They have been also fighting for their lives. As a cancer survivor, I thought I would like to use my life for others since I have a second chance to live.
Over that weekend, things got worse due to the nuclear power plant. I really thought I should do something since I was born and raised in Hiroshima. I had been thinking how I could help those people. I followed all news I could think of and read those tips what I could do. Yet it was so limited what I could do because I live abroad. My conclusion was to send money as much as possible.
Of course I could send my money to the Japanese Red Cross. It was probably the easiest way. But I would like to do more...
Then I met a woman, who was a board member of a catholic church, Sint Willibrorduskerk in Utrecht. She offered me the church to hold a concert. As a pianist, I thought I could do a charity concert to raise money.
On Sunday evening (13 March), I sent out e-mails to my friends, who are musicians in Holland, and asked their help to organise a charity concert. Immediately everyone agreed and gave me more ideas for charity events. Within no time, we decided to make a group to raise funds for victims in Japan and made a Facebook account.
Everyone asked their own friends to help our ideas. Next morning when I woke up, members of our Facebook account were over 100 people. So there were professional event planners, web designers, business people, school teachers etc. Within 1 week we have our official name "Japan Helpen kan!" (thank you Hans Prummel!), logo, website, Facebook fan page (thank you Gert Jan Bos!), Twitter account, and many events.
Things became much much bigger than I originally thought. Thanks to everyone's help. The group has already raised a few thousand Euro, the amount I would never possible send personally. I sincerely hope all our events will be successful and every cent we raise would help people who barely could eat and drink currently.
For more information of our activities, please see