Memorial for Todd

Memorial for Todd

On April 27th, Luang Por Pasanno, Ajahn Karuṇadhammo, Ajahn Ñāṇiko, and others gathered at Cool Oaks for the 14th Anniversary of the passing away of Todd Tansuhaj. A brief video has been made in honor of that event, including blessing chants and video footage of Abhayagiri.

Background information on Tatcha “Todd” Tansuhaj

Todd was born on July 20, 1995 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Although Todd was born in Thailand, he and his parents lived in the USA and started visiting Abhayagiri because of special blood treatments that Todd was receiving in Oakland, California to treat a genetic disorder. Todd and his parents got into the routine of stopping at Abhayagiri whenever they were in the area. The family thus became a familiar sight in Abhayagiri’s meditation hall and helping out around the buildings and forest that make up the property.

When Todd was just nine years old, the family discussed the possibility of a new approach to Todd’s illness — a stem cell transplant that might cure him of the disease completely. They knew it was a little risky and the risk increases as the child gets older, but they all agreed (Todd included) that they wanted to try it. The alternative was the heavy-duty treatments for Todd carrying on for the next twenty to forty years if he survived other complications.

The family also consulted with a highly revered Buddhist monk in northern Thailand, Luang Por Opaht, before they made the decision. He suggested that it would be a very good idea, in order to tilt the karmic odds in Todd’s favor, if he spent time as a novice monk for a while.

Todd thus spent a week as a novice monk in May of 2005. He went in for his stem cell transplant at the Children’s Hospital in Seattle in September of that year but, tragically, all did not go well; despite beyond-heroic efforts of the medical staff and his family, he died in the hospital on April 27th 2006.

–Adapted from Ajahn Amaro’s Foreword in Like a River – the life of a boy named Todd