Meet your staff partner Lori Poaipuni – Finish the Fight Friday 10-31-2014

The fifth of September 2014 marked my fifth year working with the American Cancer Society.  The first person that comes to mind when I think about cancer itself is my sister, Joanne. She is who brought me full circle with this disease. Then, I recall all the patients and families I’ve met over the years and I have a mixed bag of emotions. I am thankful, for the opportunity to brighten someone’s day and hopeful, that one day we will find a cure that puts an end to this thing we call cancer.

Growing up on Maui was the best, amazing parents and family, fishing and camping, lots of cousins, animals, and always music.  My parents were high school sweethearts, married for 52 years and had four children (three daughters and a son).  My brother Sheldon passed away when I was only eight months old and then three years later, my sister Leeann was born.  Although I’m pretty sure that eight month old baby was their perfect child, they insisted on trying again!

I began my journey with cancer back in 1998.  My dad, the eldest of nine, lost his brother Herbert to colon cancer. Peter would be next in 2004.  After that, his youngest sister Nicki passed from cancer in 2008, and then his oldest sister Rita in 2010.  My mom as well, lost two first cousins, who were also brothers to cancer.  Keith–the reason I am a registered bone marrow donor–passed away in 1999 from leukemia and his brother Ben in 2008 from stomach cancer.

My cancer journey hit home when Joanne asked my sister and I if we could go with her to an appointment on Oahu. It was August of 2005.  Asking no questions we found ourselves sitting in Oncology and an hour later hearing the words, “it’s cancer.”  Six months later on February 20, 2006, Joanne succumbed to pancreatic cancer at the age of 44.

For me, my journey became full circle in September of 2009 when I started working with the Society. I cannot think of a better way to honor my sister, than by helping someone whose cancer journey has just begun.  I can’t imagine a better place to remember her than by being here, at the American Cancer Society.  It gives me such a great feeling when a woman’s face light up after finding a wig that works perfectly for her during treatment, or see that kick in her step when she receives a breast fluff.  Or hearing “thank you” after arranging travel to Oahu or the mainland for cancer treatment, I know I am doing the right thing.  The term, “little things” has new meaning here at ACS, because what I perceive as being little, is actually HUGE to someone else.  I love that I get to be a part of that!

I am one of many at ACS Hawai’i Pacific and I am thankful every day to be here.  We are a great team with journeys of our own and together we do great things.  I could not think of a better place to have spent the last 5 years and I look forward to what I hope will be many more years to come.

 

In Other News

 

From Hola to Aloha, ACS Hawaii is here for you – Finish the Fight Friday 10-24-2014

October is proving to be quite a month around American Cancer Society Hawaii Pacific. Bolivian Dance Crew Poses for American Cancer Society Hawaii at Hispanic Heritage Festival

Saturday, October 11, Lani and I (Arthur) were out the Hispanic Heritage Festival to catch the Latin-inspired entertainment and share ACS health materials with Hawaii’s growing Hispanic/Latino community and other festival guests. The stage performances brought acts from as far as Los Angeles, along with some local favoriates and the nachos were pretty tasty. Dozens of people came by our booth, some to gather information on cancer in English and Spanish and some to share their personal cancer stories. It was a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon at Kapiolani park. It was also the perfect research for our upcoming Hope Gala Honolulu theme, Midnight in Miami! http://hopegalahonolulu.org Keep your ears open for more news and the awesome talents that will be coming to Hawaii State Art Museum on May 2, 2015! For those you know who speak Spanish, ACS resources are available en español by contacting: 1-800-227-2345.

You can also use the Español link at the top of http://cancer.org

American Cancer Society Spanish Information from Hawaii Pacific Blog

 

To send some Aloha to the mainland, Katie and Making Strides sent leis to the Portraits of Hope in St. Louis, MO. They were warmly received by the folks at Enterprise, one of our national Strides partners. Some of the participants are going to try to make it to Honolulu for Strides 2016! What a great way to share the Strides experience.

We have a warm thank you from Michelle, to the many wonderful donors who gave through Foodland, Sack N Save, and Foodland Farms’ Give Aloha program.  “Through Give Aloha Logo for American Cancer Society Hawaii Pacificyour efforts, we received $1,863.98 from your donations and another $373.44 from the Foodland and Western Union matching gifts, totaling $2,237.42!  We truly appreciate your spirit of giving through this program!  Since 1999, the American Cancer Society has received over $93,300 from the Give Aloha program.  Thank you so much Foodland, Sack N Save, and Foodland Farms for having us as one of your very grateful recipients!”

More staff and volunteer stories in weeks to come!

 

 

 

 

 

New approaches for breast cancer feature ACS research – Finish the Fight Friday 10/17/14

Locally we are sad to report that the “The Breast Walk Ever” in support of Making Strides is being cancelled due to the pending KBIG Breast Walk Ever Hawaii Island Oct 18 2015weather from tropical storm Ana. This walk was to be hosted by KBIG Hawaii’s Hit Music Station. Walkers were encouraged to wear pink bras over their shirts and can enter to win prizes in the “Beautiful Bra” contest. This looks like it would have been a great time. You can still donate to the team here.

Did you ever wonder what happens to the money we raise for research? The following two articles touch on two of the many ACS funded researchers and their groundbreaking works.

Cancer is most dangerous when it spreads from the primary tumor to other parts of the body. Responsible for about 90% of cancer deaths, metastasis is a grim reality of a complex process that scientists are still trying to understand. Metastatic tumors develop years, sometimes decades, later in 30% to 40% of breaAmerican Cancer Researcher Detecting Cancerst cancer survivors. Although treatments can lengthen the lives of women with recurrent or metastatic breast cancer, the disease is most often incurable at that point.

Scientists are now working to understand and detect early signs of breast cancer’s spread—and potentially prevent it. Read more about a new potential approach to stopping the spread at cancer.org. See your research dollars at work.

Recently in the lab of Xiaoting Zhang, Ph.D., breast cancer cells were multiplying out of control as usual. Then the unexpected happened—all that tumor-building bustle came to an abrupt halt.

It happened when Zhang, a cancer biologist at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, and his research team disabled a protein called MED1. Now they’re trying to uncover the biological mechanisms for how this happens, raising the prospect that a MED1-targeted therapy could be developed to lull breast cancer cells into a permanent sleep, known as senescence. Read more about how ACS scientists are putting breast cancer cells to sleep.