Mahelona walks to raise cancer awareness

KAPAA — October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Mahelona Hospital will host its Fourth annual Breast Cancer Walk Oct. 7 on Ke Ala Hele Makala‘e starting at 9:30 a.m. from the path behind the Kapaa Neighborhood Center.

“We invite people to come and honor cancer survivors and have fellowship with the residents, volunteers, and make donations to the American Cancer Society,” said Josie Pablo, the recreation director of the Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital. “This is such a good event for the residents to have fellowship with the community as well as honor cancer survivors.”

The event started when one of the hospital’s residents was diagnosed with breast cancer. That diagnosis coincided with one of the hospital’s staff members being pushed into early retirement because of her cancer diagnosis.

“The residents were really affected by this,” Pablo said. “They wanted to do something more than just offer they sympathy. We talked about it, and decided we would do a cancer walk to show our support.”

Pablo said during the walk, preschool students have offered to cheer on the residents and walkers along the route which turns around at the end of the Kapaa Beach Park.

“Catherine Paleka and her Kapaa High School ensemble will be at the turn-around,” Pablo said. “Herman Paleka and his group will be providing entertainment at the end. This year, the residents will be staying on to have lunch at the park.”

Since its inception four years ago, Pablo said the event has been growing in support.

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