Towards the end of last year came the disturbing news that Aidan O'Connor, a long-term resident of Kansai, all-round good egg and erstwhile culinary correspondent for Kansai Time Out, was battling with leukemia. Worse, it transpired that his only hope for survival lay with a bone marrow transplant from overseas, an expensive procedure not covered by the terms of his medical insurance in Japan.
The situation was grim and particularly distressing given that Aidan has a young family and had just moved to the countryside and was setting up his own small restaurant. His closest friends in Japan have rallied round and put together a campaign called Save Aidan designed to raise enough money to give some support to Aidan and his family and to help finance the transplants which are his only hope for survival. They also hope to draw attention to the wider problem of there being no bone marrow bank available for non-Japanese in Japan.
You can read more about the moving story of Aidan's battle with cancer and the Save Aidan project here.