Sunday, June 26, 2022 |
Share this story
LIHUE — Melinda Uohara, a veteran of many breast cancer walks, said she remembers struggling to get at least two dozen people to walk.
Wednesday, more than a hundred people joined the Kauai Committee on the Status of Women, who in partnership with the YWCA of Kauai, the Wilcox Health Center, and the American Cancer Society, Kauai office. They braved the elements for the Paint the Town Pink breast cancer awareness walk at the Mo‘ikeha Building.
“This is the first walk for breast cancer I’ve done on Kauai,” said Leslie Burgermyer. “I heard about it from Tricia Wistinghausen who would’ve been here except she had to go to Oahu for business. I told several other people about this and we all met here.”
Wearing pink, the group of nearly a hundred carried their message to the streets of Kuhio Highway to the Wilcox Health Center before returning to the Moikeha Building.
“I’ve been to other breast cancer walks that are larger,” Burgermyer said. “This one is well-planned with a lot of information available. I especially like the inter-agency cooperation where the police helped with traffic and we didn’t have to worry about being run over by cars.”
Evelyn Johnston was another first time participant.
“This is amazing,” she said. “I’m a breast cancer survivor and I’m glad I got to come and walk.”
The event got help from the County of Kauai and the Kauai Fire Dept. in promoting October as breast cancer awareness month.
“We have special shirts with pink lettering,” said Kauai Fire Battalion Chief Jason Ornellas whose wife Mary Ann is a survivor. “We get to wear it on the first day of the week we go on duty. We also have a group, including Chief Robert Westerman, walking.”
Kauai Police Chief Darryl Perry had a special pink aloha shirt for the occasion, being joined by other Kauai Police Dept. administrative staff and officers including Lance Okasaki who made do by sticking a pink highlighter into his pocket to comply with the invitation of wearing pink.
“Men have breast cancer?” Carole Koulbanis was surprised when she saw the Men in Pink flier at the American Cancer Society table. “This is my first time walking, and I liked it. But, men have breast cancer?”
Patti Ornellas said the Men Wear Pink is for men only fundraising effort during the month of October where men take the lead in raising funds to benefit cancer research.
“You don’t need to be a victim of breast cancer,” Ornellas said. “It’s just for men only. When I looked at the website, there is a guy on the mainland who has already raised $60,000. Dr. Daryl Kurozawa in Kailua, Kona is the current leader for Hawaii at $1,000-plus. You know me, I have to have someone representing Kauai.”
Ornellas said there are other events scheduled in observance of breast cancer month, including the historic County Building being lit in pink.
“I haven’t seen it, yet,” said Kathy Crowell of the Kauai Committee on the Status of Women. “Maybe, I’ll drive by tonight and see it.”
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
By participating in online discussions you
acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful
discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments
are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines,
send us an email.