Hawaiian Airlines Resumes Critical Transportation for Cancer Patients


For more than 20 years, Hawaiian Airlines has quietly been supporting the fight against cancer by donating through the HawaiianMiles charity program to the American Cancer Society.  Through the Society’s patient services, the charity program miles are given to patients across the Hawaiian Islands who need air transportation to O‘ahu or the mainland. Concerned about the COVID-19 pandemic, many patients postponed cancer care. Beginning Monday, September 14, 2020, charity program miles can again be used through the American Cancer Society to get patients to their potentially life-saving treatment.

“As a cancer patient who lives on the Big Island, it was critical to my cancer treatment to have access to The Queen’s Medical Center for treatment and PET scans,” said Bernie, a cancer patient who used the program. “The HawaiianMiles charity program assisted me in making that possible.  As with other patients, it helped me when I needed it most and I shall always be grateful for the generosity of the program.”

“The charity program miles donated by Hawaiian Airlines and their HawaiianMiles members provide a profound gift to a cancer patient during their journey,” said Michelle Hashimoto, manager of the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge in Honolulu.  “It means that there is one less expense to worry about.  Patients are so grateful for the continued spirit of aloha and giving.”

According to Ryan Okita, Senior Director, Cancer Control Program Management for the Society, the American Cancer Society provided 552 flights in 2019 through the Hawaiian Airlines charity program. “Hawaiian Airlines and their HawaiianMiles members have donated more than one million miles in 2019 alone, mostly for cancer patients in Hawaii to get to cancer treatment,” Okita confirmed.

The HawaiianMiles charity program offers a meaningful way for Hawaiian Airlines’ guests to support important community causes.  Hawaiian Airlines incorporated four distinct pillars of charitable giving opportunities, each one representing a major keystone of Hawaiian society: Culture, Education, Environment, and Health and Human Services.

“Each year, Hawaiian Airlines will match up to a half-million miles to each participating charity. We are grateful for the generosity of our loyal guests who donate their miles to support the incredible work of non-profits like the American Cancer Society and help fulfill our mission to assist our neighbors across the islands,” said Debbie Nakanelua-Richards, Hawaiian Airlines director of community and cultural relations.

Hawaiian has donated over 5 million HawaiianMiles to the American Cancer Society since 2009 and participated in its Relay For Life program for over 25 years. The carrier recently donated First Class amenity kits and slippers as well as face masks produced by its partner Kealopiko to support Hope Lodge patients. The American Cancer Society provides free services for cancer patients, including talking with a live Cancer Information Specialist 24/7, information about early detection, and treatments. Cancer patients who need transportation assistance from Hawaii can call the American Cancer Society for assistance at 808-595-7500.

To donate your Hawaiian miles to the American Cancer Society, please visit the website linked HERE and choose our organization.

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