Help Send Osamu to Evo 2012.  Update: Message from Osamu! Help Send Osamu to Evo 2012.  Update: Message from Osamu!
Update – 06/28/2012 Our donation drive was successful, and Osamu will be coming to Evo!  Thanks again to everyone who contributed or sent their... Help Send Osamu to Evo 2012.  Update: Message from Osamu!

Update – 06/28/2012

Our donation drive was successful, and Osamu will be coming to Evo!  Thanks again to everyone who contributed or sent their well wishes.  You really have made a difference.   Osamu sends along this message.

Thank you so much everyone for contribution. I cannot believe my dream of going to EVO is coming true! I am so grateful to Shoryken.com, EVO organizers, Umehara-san and of course, all of you who has donated your money. I am very moved by your compassion. I cannot wait to come to EVO and do the best I can to enjoy the time of my life.

Again, thank you so much.

-Osamu

Update – 06/12/2012

The donation currently sits at 91% with only three days left. One final push should help Osamu get to EVO, so let’s do it!

Update – 5/31/2012

Support continues to rally around Osamu! Here’s a special message from Daigo. If you can afford it, please help us reach our goal of sending Osamu to Evo.

I am trying to hold an event for Osamu next month with a help of Taito
Station to make his dream come true. He has been to arcades only a few
times and never played there. I want to help make it happen for him to
play at the arcades, on the machine, with other street fighters. I
know so well how much enjoyable that is, which I took grant it of….
I will also fulfill another dream of his — to be able to play with
me.

We are still working out the details with Taito Station but hopefully
will be able to announce it soon. I too am excited about this
opportunity and determined to realize it for him as a send-off to EVO
2012.. and yes, I am very excited about EVO 2012. I want to be there
with Osamu.

-Daigo Umehara

Osamu Ichikawa was diagnosed with brain paralysis as an infant, but has not let that stop him. Amazingly, Osamu directs a non-profit org for the handicapped people aimed at fulfilling their social needs as well as addressing issues in order to improve their life in Japan.  For anyone that has not been to Japan, you should know that overall it does not share the same level of handicapped access as you see in the US, so people in Osamu’s position face a real challenge.

Osamu is also a Street Fighter player who dreams of going to Evo. Here’s Osamu, in his own words:

I am a 29-year-old street fighter with brain paralysis. I was diagnosed with the condition when I was one, and have been living with a wheelchair in my entire life.

I’ve always loved video games, and in growing up, I played a lot of NES at home with my friends and family. Video games give me the chance to be free from the physical disadvantages and differences. I can communicate with no problem, but I cannot move the rest of my body below my neck. I began playing the SF series after watching Umehara-san. He has been a great inspiration to me in playing SF. I play Street Fighter using my cheek and chin, which is a style I became settled with through years of experimentation.

Growing up, I could not go to arcades despite my strong desire because there was no wheel chair access and no controller. Even today, the situation has not been improved much. I would love to come to EVO 2012 this summer. I think of EVO as the greatest tournament in the world and have always wanted to attend. I would love to play against people from all over the world, and be in the same room and in the same moment and share the passion and energy with my fellow players. There,
my handicap doesn’t exist.

I am so grateful for any support you can offer to try and make my dream come true. Thank you so much!

– Osamu Ichikawa

It is humbling that Evo has become someone’s dream, especially someone with such a big heart. Please help us make Osamu’s dream come true by participating in our donation drive.

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