Satomi Kaneko and Shizu Yasuda
1998winners self-actualization
Crossed the islands of Japan by bicycle to raise awareness and understanding of donor cards
Satomi Kaneko and Shizu Yasuda

Satomi Kaneko Born: 1974; from: Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan
Shizu Yasuda Born: 1973; from: Nara Prefecture, Japan

Award summary

After they agreed to do things they "can do only now," Yasuda and Kaneko gave up their jobs as nurses at a hospital. They drew up a plan and traveled across Japan by bicycle to distribute donor cards or cards indicating the intentions of organ donations. They set out from Zanpa Misaki (Cape Zanpa) in Okinawa in April 1998, and covered 3,500 kilometers to Soya Misaki (Cape Soya) in Hokkaido in 109 days. Along the way, they came in contact with 4,000 people and handed out 2,367 donor cards.

Reasons for this award

Ms. Yasuda and Ms. Kaneko agreed to make the trip that would not end up merely satisfying themselves. They came up with an idea befitting their role as nurses. They mapped out a plan to travel the length of the Japanese archipelago to distribute donor cards, and they brilliantly put it into action. They deserve high marks for widely rousing people's awareness of donor cards through meeting many people in the places they visited.

Comments from the winner

Rather than trying to distribute many donor cards, we set our objective from the beginning on explaining the cards to people directly so that they might discover an interest in and think about the cards. It was not so easy for us to find those who were willing to accept the cards. We were sometimes mistaken for being in religious solicitation. We had many difficulties during our trip, but as we look back it was very pleasant and meaningful.