My name is Lisa and I run an Indies rock music promotion company in Tokyo, Japan. Due to Coronavirus we have not had any sizable work since last April and I have been living off of my savings. On January 18th of this year, my mom, who lived in France, was unexpectedly hospitalized after going to the ER with back pain and breathing difficulties. She was diagnosed with Non-small Cell Lung Cancer Stage 4b and remained in the hospital until she passed away in March 2021.
I gave up my apartment in Tokyo and planned to move to France where my mother lived (we are both American but I grew up in France) in order to take care of her while she was ill. I took a costly PCR test as they are not covered by insurance for travel purposes and purchased a plane ticket for January 30th, 2021. The PCR test result came back later than promised and I was unable to board the flight. The company would not let me reschedule and I lost the ticket and nearly 2,000 dollars between the flight and PCR test costs. I had no money and no place to go, but a friend put me up in an Internet Cafe for the night and lended me money to purchase another ticket for the next day, January 31st. On that day, I went to the airport with the same PCR test result. 30 minutes before boarding, the airline staff turned every passenger away telling us that France had JUST closed its borders. As a non-EU citizen, a medical letter regarding my mother's situation was not enough to be let into France at the time. I found myself homeless, money-less and hopeless with no way to get to my mother. I used the rest of the money my friend lended me to spent two weeks sleeping at an internet cafe while applying for emergency financial assistance as well as a special permission to enter France from the French embassy. After getting the financial assistance approved, I was able to find a cheap sharehouse outside of the city and spent the remainder of February fighting with the Embassy before finally getting the permission to travel to France on March 6th. I was able to reschedule my second flight free of charge but had to pay for another costly PCR test before leaving.
Unfortunately, despite having been separated for the last 4 years my mother passed away the day I arrived and while she was still breathing when I got to her hospital room, she was unresponsive. I did not get to say goodbye. I last spoke to her on the phone while I was on the train on the way to her city from Charles de Gaulle airport. We had been asking the hospital for weeks to let her have a second opinion regarding her cancer treatment as well as the lack of treatment they were providing her for the stroke she endured 3 days after being admitted to the hospital, but they refused. My mother and I both wanted her transferred to a larger hospital in a bigger city but the hospital refused to turn over her medical records. She was treated poorly by the hospital, denied of her basic rights to choose treatment options as well as facilities and it breaks my heart to say that I think she would still be alive if she had been transferred somewhere more knowledgeable. It was with this in mind that I fought every day to get permission to enter France while the borders were closed and I arrived on March 6th having made the promise to her, as per her request, to take her to a different treatment facility. She was alone in France after the partner she had lived with the last 4 years attacked her in her hospital room a week before she passed, because he found out that I was coming and he doesn't like me. He called me and told me that if I came to France, he would kill me. After she passed he refused to return my mom's belongings to me and even tried to go over my head to steal her Death Certificate to go against her last wishes and conduct her funeral how he wanted and keep the ashes for himself despite her last wishes being that I take her ashes back with me to Japan. I had to get both police and courts involved to get her belongings returned to me but it took 3 weeks and as such he had already thrown away, on purpose, most of the items that had any sentimental value to me. I did, however, retrieve most family heirlooms and most items which were dear to my mother. I am planning to return those items along with my mother's ashes and myself to Japan and attempt to rebuild my life all alone, having no other family. My aunt who lives in the big city refused to let me stay with her for one night the night my mother passed.
This fundraiser has 2 goals: to help me pay for my mother's funeral of which I have only currently paid the cremation as it needed to be done within a week of her passing. All other costs such as the coffin, the urn and other costs such as transportation (all of which have been split up for me in installments for the time being) and services have been left to pay off in installments of which I have not yet been able to pay off anything. The second goal is to repatriate my mother's precious belongings and memories back with me to Japan where I will store them as I still have the share house I rented before leaving along with all of my belongings still in Japan. By the time I tried to leave the second time, after having been homeless once, I realized it wasn't safe to leave everything to go blindly to France when my mother may not survive.
My mother's father (my grandpa and the man who acted as my dad growing up, since my real dad was abusive and terrorized me) was a highly beloved and respected WWII, Vietnam and Korea War vet who has many medals and other war artifacts which deserve to be preserved. Sending belongings to Japan from France is costly at around 25,000 yen (200 euros) for 20 kilograms with the cheapest option from the post office. Maritime freight cannot be used for smaller shipments like mine mine from France. I would like to save as many of my mother's precious things as well as these American artifacts as I can to keep them safe and to honor my mother as well as my entire family's memory, as I am the last one alive and I am all alone. However, the weight is very prohibitive and with the financial situation I am in, I need help in that regard as well. Even if I do not reach my goal, I will use the amount I receive to contribute to both of these endeavors.
Even if you cannot donate to my cause, I thank each and every one of you for reading this.