Wasabi Stories vol.244: “Giving up Easily Does Not Solve Anything”

coffee breakToday’s story-teller is former ballroom dancer Yurie Yoshino.

Her story about her disease had been published in a serial form.

In March 2005, Yoshino was told that she had ‘retroperitoneal sarcoma (the chance of getting the cancer is only one in 100,000)’.

There were risks of metastasis or recrudescence. As expected, it recurred a half year after the initial operation.

There were many tumors but there was no damage to any organ. So she had them removed and discharged from the hospital.

It was the end of year when she was discharged from the hospital. But she did not go back to her parents’ house like a lot of people do, and she spent New Year’s Eve alone listening to the night watch bell in Tokyo. And she checked about the cancer on the internet.

She found out that the 5-year survival rate is only 7%.

She was so scared and wondering how long she could live, she spent the New Year and the next day crying in bed.

And on January 3, she regained her vitality and went to a New Year party of a dancing group. Going to the party helped her not to give up.


Looking back on the time, she says, “Worrying does not cure the disease. Trying to make life worthwhile might help to improve immunity and live longer.”


In April 2006, she became in charge of ‘blind dance’, the world’s first ballroom dance contest for blind people.

It was going to be broadcast on TV. Yoshino tried to do her best to organize the event and give instructions to the participants.

However, one month before the contest, she was diagnosed for with malignant tumors again.

The doctor told her that she needed to have the operation immediately, but she did not accept it. She wanted to carry out her duty as an instructor for the contest. So she postponed the operation until the end of the contest.

The contest ended successfully. Then she went to hospital to get her operation. Surprisingly, the malignant tumors could not be found.


Finally, Yoshino says, “I staked my life on organizing ‘blind dance’ hoping that blind people find the chance to enjoy dancing, develop confidence and adopt active lifestyle. I believe that my feelings for the blind people came back to me as a miracle.”


The NIKKEI 11/11/2010 by Yurie Yoshino (former ballroom dancer)


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