I HAVE A DREAM
I am a Japanese pediatric hemato-oncologist working as a research fellow at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.
I worked in Japan for many years with the doctors organizing this project, and know some other staffs, whose kids were my patients.
Last weekend, I almost fell down with a chair when I read a Japanese internet-news. The news titled as “Doctors in Kinki area founded an incorporated nonprofit organization to build the first pediatric cancer hospital in Japan by donations” so surprised me.
In the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, seven Japanese pediatric hemato-oncologists are working as clinical or research fellows now. This hospital is very impressive for us, because we have never seen such a pediatric cancer hospital managed by donations in Japan. And, needless to say, it leads the development of pediatric cancer treatment in the world.
Recently, we have had a lot of news from Japan about the collapse of pediatric medical care systems there. They are facing serious difficulties mainly because pediatricians and other medical staffs are decreasing. Medical care systems for pediatric cancer patients also are not so good for the same reason. In such circumstances, we are talking to each other that we would like to build a hospital like St. Jude in Japan someday. When the then Japanese Prime Minister, Junichiro Koizumi, decided to come to Memphis with the US President in June, we sent a mail to Japanese government asking his visit to St. Jude. We supposed that Japanese people would know this kind of hospital and it would help to realize our dream if he visited here. However, he could not visit here because of a tight schedule.
Five months later, I have got the news that some doctors are planning independently to build a hospital like St. Jude by donations in Japan. And, surprisingly, the doctors are my former colleagues! They call it “dream hospital.”
I am so excited.
Now I am reading their blog far from Japan, in Memphis, and remembering a word, "I HAVE A DREAM."
As you know, this is a Martin Luther King’s famous word. He died here, in Memphis.
by Hiro, in Memphis