KCH Keeps Hope Alive

Kona Community Hospital’s (KCH) sixth annual Hope Event will take place Saturday, October 22 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at KCH’s Radiation Oncology Clinic (ROC). It brings approximately 150 people together to bring hope, celebrate life, and to recognize how cancer affects each and every one of us. It will feature volunteer services from local businesses such as Intrigue Dezign and Tiana’s Avon and Wigs, as well as live music, food, complimentary massages and haircuts and more. Individuals can also donate their hair for wigs through the American Cancer Society. The entire community is invited to attend.

“Our hope is that those who attend will learn what they can do to prevent this disease and also remember those who have been through the battle,” said Poppy Sokham, KCH’s Director of Radiation Oncology.

October is recognized as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The American Cancer Society’s Cancer Facts & Figures 2011 shows that the estimated number of new breast cancer cases in 2011 is 16% in the state of Hawaii and 30% in the US of all cancer types. Kona Community Hospital’s Cancer Registry, which tracks data on cancer patients, has shown similar numbers of new breast cancer cases in 2010 of 28%, making it the most prevalent cancer type across the board.

American Cancer Society states, “Unfortunately, the percentage of women who report that they have had a mammogram in the past 2 years has leveled off, remaining at the same level since 2000. If we can increase the number of women who have mammograms, more women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at an earlier stage, which dramatically increases their chances of surviving cancer.”

Emily Mendez-Bryant, KCH’s Community Relations Director commented, “As a hospital, we want to support our community and provide them with important information and resources that will help improve their health. Events like this are a great opportunity for anyone to learn more and show that we care about others and ourselves.”

In order to promote breast cancer awareness, the 2nd Pink Friday will be held right before the Hope Event on October 21. This event encourages staff to wear pink to work as recognition of the significance that breast cancer has. Last year, KCH had over 100 hospital employees in pink to showcase their support.