Posts tagged ‘cancer’

My Friend, the Bionic Reporter

1240246_10151878891834664_1073070009_nI first knew BJ Reyes ’95 as a fellow sportswriter at The Daily Collegian. A diminutive Filipino by way of Cleveland, he was a few years older than the rest of us due to the health problems—namely, cancer—that had forced him to postpone college (he’s battled diabetes most of his life, as well). He was also smart, funny, and a great guy to hang out with—the sort of friend around whom many of our most memorable college stories revolved.

Years ago, he moved to Honolulu and established himself as a pillar of Aloha State journalism—he’s currently a political reporter for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser—but we’ve managed to stay in pretty good contact, so I knew that he’d never completely shaken the myriad health problems, repeat surgeries, and related complications that he’d dealt with most of his life.

So it wasn’t a complete shock when (more…)

September 12, 2013 at 2:41 pm Leave a comment

Our Intern: Center Stage at THON

Oralis before her haircut

As a member of THON’s rules and regulations committee, our intern, senior Oralis Ramos is usually in the background at THON. But this year, she found herself on center stage last weekend as part of a group of students who had their hair cut and donated to Wigs for Kids. Here is her story:

I have always known that I had a half sister about my age, but my father had lost touch with her. Just over a year ago, I had an intense urge to meet her, and my father tracked her down in January 2009. Unbelievably, Emnie was scheduled to have surgery the very next day to remove a cancerous tumor. It was very emotional, and that night we talked for over an hour. She told me she was scared about the surgery, but that it was some sort of miracle that brought us together at this point and time.

Thankfully, her surgery went well, and the follow-up chemotherapy and radiation did, too. She also told me about a promise she made to herself while undergoing the treatment: If her treatment was successful and she was cured, then she would donate her hair to kids with cancer. Like me, she has had long hair all her life, and felt apprehensive, but this was something she had to do. Hearing her inspired me to want to do the same.

Oralis after her haircut

I applied to Wigs for Kids, and I was notified that I would get the great opportunity to get my hair cut during THON on stage. Saturday afternoon, I had 12 inches of my hair cut off. It was breathtaking to see the all kids and dancers looking at the stage. As a little girl I always had long hair, and I remember how fun it was to brush and style. It made me happy to know that another little girl can have that feeling back and not be self-conscious because she doesn’t look like the other kids.

After the initial cutting on stage, my hair was styled by a professional and I am now sporting a “bob” that comes down to my chin. It is definitely a different look, but I love it. Plus, looking into the crowd and seeing all the smiling faces let me know that it was 100 percent worth it.

February 26, 2010 at 4:00 pm 3 comments

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