Message from Mr. Paul Bourdarie, Founder
April 17 (Thu), 2012
Good afternoon, everyone. My name is Paul Bourdarie. I have to say it is unusual for me to speak at formal occasions like this nowadays, so that my speech today will be short. Please relax and just listen. Before taking up the main story, let me tell you one of my habits. I first take action, then speak. This is probably based on my wife Kiyoko’s suggestion. She often told me, “Take action before you talk.”
I would like to express my appreciation to three individuals who have played significant roles in establishing this Foundation. They are those who supported Kiyoko when she was alive, who gave me ideas that have formed the basis for establishing this Foundation, and who implemented those ideas and plans.
One of the three is Dr. Tetsuya Okunaka of Sanno Hospital. With high expertise in cancer treatment, and with great humanity, Dr. Okunaka treated Kiyoko’s cancer for several years. Secondly, let me acknowledge Mr. Masanori Wakabayashi. Mr. Wakabayashi supported Kiyoko as a banker. He is a broad-minded and smart gentleman with great insight. Finally, Mr. Masahiko Sumida worked hard to establish this Foundation. He is an excellent attorney, and speaks French very well. Mr. Sumida and I have built a solid friendship since the time of our first meeting. The testament to that friendship and the efforts of these three individuals is the “Kiyoko Goto and Paul Bourdarie Cancer Foundation.”
Now, I would like to talk about the story of Kiyoko and myself. I met Kiyoko by chance when I visited a friend’s house, located in the Latin Quarter of Paris, in the afternoon around sunset. That was in the spring of 1973. The host was a mutual friend of Kiyoko’s and mine, though we did not know each other until we met at the house. This was our first meeting.
At that time, Kiyoko studied French literature at The Sorbonne. I was an immature engineer, and sometimes worked at constructing factories that are far away from France. Six months after our first meeting, Kiyoko and I got married. We began our new life in a small town, which was a few kilometers away from the Palace of Versailles. We lived together for 33 years until Kiyoko passed away because of lung cancer on March 5, 2007.
Kiyoko was a heavy smoker. I recall that she smoked two packs of cigarettes per day. Generally speaking, I think that Japanese people smoke a lot, including younger generations. That’s why I think the Foundation needs to make the following commitments.
First, the Foundation awards prizes to Japanese scientists/doctors who have published excellent cancer research papers, particularly on lung cancers, contributing to the elimination of all forms of cancer. Second, the Foundation educates Japanese people, especially younger generations, about the forms of damage caused by smoking and how to prevent such damage. Third, I hope that Kiyoko continues to live in the minds of her friends through the activities of the Foundation.
Finally, I have a request for medical scientists and doctors who are here, particularly those who are specialized in the treatment of lung cancers caused by smoking. Please make the best possible use of our prize for your further research contributing to cancer elimination. The Foundation awards prize annually, in quite significant amounts. Again, please use these funds to save lives. This would be the ultimate gift from me to the people of Japan, in memory of my wife Kiyoko.
Thank you so much for being here and listening to my speech.