March 18th, 2016

Eulorogy For Dear Brother In Christ

The long term chairman of TRIO (Transplant Recipient International Organization) JAPAN, Mr. Yoshio Aranami (73) passed away with colon cancer on March 3rd.

I got to know him about 18 years ago, when I started involvment in an international organ transplant ministry.
Since then he, who sent the patients to UCLA, and I, who welcomed them, have exchanged countless emails.

In the first Christmas greeting on the first year of the ministry, as I told him that I met God through the organ transplant support, and accepted Jesus as my savior, he replied saying he was also Christian. Learning we were equally yoked centering on Christ, I was so encouraged and excited.

He launched the organization because he lost his daughter, who was born with biliary atresia, in Australia, where he flew with her wishing for a liver transplant. Without compensation, he and his wife contributed their lives to support not only the patients, but also to promote organ transplants in Japan, where brain death was not recognized until 1997, and still has a few donors even now. He has saved so many lives sending the patients abroad.

One time when he was involved into a gossip, which was a totally false accusation, he bore harsh criticism and bashing, saying that the truth would come out eventually, and kept focusing on his ministry without fighting back his enemies.

In 2013, three years after my diagnosis of breast cancer, he received a diagnosis of advanced colon cancer. Unexpectedly, we became cancer friends, as well.

” Which would you like to try, a clinical trial chemo or conventional chemo?”
When he was asked by his doctor, he chose the clinical trial chemo without hesitation because he wanted to contribute his data for future patients–he told me.
While I seek clinical trials to save myself, he demonstrated one of the most important teachings in the Bible ; Love your neighbors as yourself. I knew he was a good man, but I renewed my respect more than ever.

With numerous hospitalizations and operations, there was a time that he was doing well, but after all cancer came back and around last Christmas, I received an email, which said he had no more options, but he wanted to continue his support for the organ transplant patients until the last day and so he did.

Christians believe the death is not the end. Actually it is the beginning of eternal life. In the Kingdom, where we meet our Creator, we receive a new body, which never gets sick or dies; there is no pain or sorrow; everything is perfect, much more beautiful than the earth, and we can live happily forever!

Learning Mr. Aranami is gone,I can’t help being down, but because of God promise, Mr. Aranami defeated death, entered into the Kingdom, and was healed from cancer. He must be full of joy. Looking at the sky, I want to say to him, “Congratulations! You did it!”