Some of you may already know that Lani was diagnosed with breast cancer at the beginning of 2017. It is a very aggressive type of breast cancer -- HER2+ invasive ductal carcinoma, which tends to grow and spread faster than other breast cancers. It was detected at stage IIB/III. Lani began chemotherapy in March at Queens Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii.
As of July 2017 Lani has completed 5 cycles of chemotherapy treatments. She is receiving a "cocktail" of 4 different drugs that are specific to her type of cancer. The chemotherapy has very been very brutal on Lani. She is experiencing anemia and low blood counts. She spends two of the three weeks after each infusion in bed recouperating and is unable to do any work with her polymer clay. The good news is that the tumor has shrunk considerably since she began the chemo in March. Later this fall she will undergo a double mastectomy, followed by radiation treatments and more chemotherapy with only 2 of the drugs.
After the first chemo treatment her doctor gave her the go-ahead to show her work at the Merrie Monarch Festival on the Big Island with the help of her daughter Mari. Lani has cancelled all subsequent shows that she had planned to do this year.
Lani has supported herself for years selling her unique polymer clay floral leis and other Hawaiian theme jewelry. (See some of her work on her website Ohanaexpressions.com ). With earnings from her jewelry sales, she was able to help put her 2 kids, Mari and Darren, through college. Darren has just started a new job in Japan, and after graduating from Stanford, Mari has been playing professional golf for several years. When Lani was first diagnosed with breast cancer Mari cancelled all her golf tournaments for the coming year and moved back home to Pearl City, Hawaii to help her mother throughout her treatment. Neither Lani or Mari have been able to earn an income since early this year.
Here is where I ask most kindly for you to consider helping Lani with a financial contribution – no matter how large or small. Anything you feel comfortable with would be a tremendous help to her. Every cent will go towards the medical related expenses she is incurring during her cancer treatment.
On her good days, Lani is able to do some work with clay making her intricate Hawaiian floral leis and other jewelry. A personal aside here - I met Lani about 15 years ago during a trip to Hawaii. She made such an impression on me as such a remarkably generous, cheerful and positive person. Besides sharing a passion for polymer clay, we had another thing in common - we had both recently given up our regular full-time corporate type jobs and began working/playing with polymer clay. After Lani left her career in banking, her life changed enormously thanks to the therapeutic and rewarding effects of creating with clay! Lani has developed her own unique style of manipulating different colors of clay into stunning reproductions of traditional Hawaiian flowers and leaves. Polymer clay changed her life and will continue to bring her joy and fulfillment.
All of our lives have been touched in some way by cancer, either directly or indirectly. I lost my young son to cancer 2 years ago. It takes a huge physical and emotional toll on the person fighting the disease, and the added stress of the financial burden can be truly overwhelming. Lani has medical insurance that will take care of 80-90% of her medical bills. But there are co-pays, deductibles and many other things that insurance won't cover, not to mention her basic living expenses that are exceeding what she is able to pay for. I am hoping that we can raise $20,000 to help Lani in this time of great need. My request goes out to her many friends and relatives, and kind souls everywhere - from her native Guam, to Japan and throughout the entire U.S..
Please - Help Lani Kick Cancer! Mahalo and Blessings!
I will post updates on Lani's progress and anything new.
- Risa Pelen
- John Luckfield
- scott simpson
- Emily Squires Levine
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