Melody’s homecoming

KAPAA — Melody Pascual came home Thursday night.

“This is supposed to be a cancer walk,” said Josie Pablo, recreation director at Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital. “But Melody has been away for the past 66 days. She just got home last night, so this is a Happy Homecoming Walk for Melody.”

Several hundred people gathered near the Kapaa Neighborhood Center Friday for the Mahelona Hospital 4th Cancer Walk, escorting Mahelona Hospital residents and honoring cancer survivors along a section of Ke Ala Hele Makalae which was decorated with streamers, balloons, and flags.

Pablo said the walk started with the help of volunteers after Pascual was diagnosed with cancer.

“She was depressed,” Pablo said. “So the residents and staff decided we would do something nice for her, and created this walk. We’ve done it every year since then with the walk growing bigger each time.”

She said many people and organizations contribute to the event.

“Everyone thinks it’s just me,” Pablo said. “But it’s not — it’s the Mahelona Hospital family that make things happen.”

Lenny Rapozo, representing the Kauai football officials, presented a check for $300 to Patti Ornellas of the American Cancer Society, Kauai office.

“This is the second year the officials are doing this,” Rapozo said. “The football officials support the cancer awareness month and wear pink during October. We also throw pink flags instead of the yellow ones, and the ball boys are suited up in pink as well.”

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