The American Cancer Society (Society) and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), Hawaii Pacific, are saddened to hear of the passing of Congressman Mark Takai.
Representative Takai was a longtime volunteer for the Society, serving as vice president for the Society’s Leeward District Board of Directors from 2001-2002.
“Our volunteers are the heart and soul of the American Cancer Society and enable us to continue lifesaving work,” said Alaina Cunningham, Hawaii Pacific Senior Director for Community Engagement for the Society. “We deeply appreciate his service and dedication to our mission to eliminate cancer.”
His dedication to fighting cancer continued with his work in the Hawaii State House of Representatives.
“Representative Takai was a strong advocate for tobacco control and supported many initiatives as a member of the House of Representatives,” said Cory Chun, Hawaii Pacific government relations director for ACS CAN. “He ensured that the state provided adequate tobacco control funding to continue our efforts to reduce cancer and other chronic diseases from tobacco use and exposure.”
During his term in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Takai carried on his support for cancer issues. In 2015, Congressman Takai co-sponsored the 21st Century Cures Act, a measure that would accelerate clinical trials to make them more accessible to cancer patients. That measure passed the House the same year. He also attended the Society’s 2015 Relay For Life of Magic Island and spoke to cancer patients and survivors about hope.
In 2016, he co-sponsored two pieces of legislation championed by ACS CAN: H.R. 1220, which would remove barriers to colorectal cancer screenings, and H.R. 3119, which would increase access and availability of palliative care services to cancer patients and others facing chronic diseases.