After Tagawa’s daughter died of a brain tumour 16 years ago, aged just 6, he wished he could have done more for her.
In 2003 he started a nonprofit organisation, Smile of Kids, with the aim of supporting children and their families, and in 2008, he opened a facility called The House of Lila, near the Kanagawa Children’s Medical Center, where visiting families can stay to be near their children who are staying at the centre.
A generous bequest from nurse Yoshie Ishikawa means that Tahawa’s dream of building a hospice in Kanagawa Prefecture can become a reality.
“Even if their allotted time on Earth is short, I hope the children will be able to spend a happy time with their family members,” Tagawa said. “I want them to go to heaven with happy memories.”