2010 | HUGS (Help, Understanding, and Group Support)

Home / 2010 | HUGS (Help, Understanding, and Group Support)

In Collaboration with HUGS (Help, Understanding, and Group Support)

ProjectFocus Hawai`i Presents

“Kindred Spirits”

Kindred Spirits

“I love my brother but everybody loves my brother too much. I think I love my brother more than I love myself. I think itʻs because everything about Josiah is more interesting than me. He was born on September 12, 2001, the day after the September 11th attacks. Josiah was born with tumors on his neck called cystic hygroma. They were so big he couldn’t breathe on his own. He has to have a tube on his throat and another tube on his stomach for feeding. My birthday is September 30, 2000. Nothing happened on that day but me being born and I am too normal to be noticed…Josiah gets attention wherever he goes. We were sitting in a shopping cart side-by-side but people only talk to him, telling him how cute he was. I tried to make people talk to me, I would cough like Josiah or cry like him but I didnʻt do as good a job as he did because nobody talked to me. I guess sick kids are cuter than ok kids. People forget that I am also a child although I am healthy and I would love to be noticed sometimes. I love ProjectFocus because Josiah doesn’t get to go and I feel important.” – Zaccary, Age 9.

All of this year’s ProjectFocus Hawai`i participants are siblings of seriously ill children receiving support from HUGS. They are the ones who often feel neglected, isolated, and alone during the time their siblings are receiving treatment, are in recovery or, as in the case of two participants, when their beloved sibling passes away.

Our participants have had to grow up quickly. Many of them have spent weeks, months and years in the shadow of their ill sibling, often entertaining them in hospital rooms; playing games, reading books and worrying about the fragile life in front of them whose stories they can’t quite comprehend. Caretaking becomes a shared family activity where regardless of age everyone joins in to offer a helping hand. Otherwise normal childhood activities like baseball practice, soccer games and hula are placed on hold or missed entirely while the family resources are directed to the ill sibling.

Raising a family is a joy — but even in the best of circumstances, it is also a challenge that requires time, energy, and care. When a child becomes seriously ill, the joy of family life can be disrupted by the many demands of the illness. It can take all of a family’s resources just to get from one day to the next. For the sibling of a child who has become seriously ill, it often means less emotional support from parents who are pushed to the limit.

In spite of these challenges, there is one recurring theme among our participants and their siblings; a deep and abiding love. “Kindred Spirits” reflects the compassionate caring these siblings share and gives this year’s participants a chance to be recognized for both their artistic accomplishments and the dedication of time and energy they have invested in making a better life for their ill brother or sister.


HUGS (Help, Understanding, and Group Support) supports families who are facing the emotional and financial hardship of caring for a seriously ill child. It is one of the few nonprofit organizations whose goal is to help every individual within the family.

Central to HUGS’s philosophy is the belief that families of seriously ill children can provide unique support for each other. HUGS seeks to create a network of peer-to-peer support by providing family events, peer groups, and other opportunities to foster these relationships. HUGS also offers scheduled respites, parents’ nights, teen groups for siblings, and the laughter wagon, which visits the pediatric wards of three O’ahu hospitals. HUGS strives to keep families together in the face of overwhelming adversity and to help them find community and support among others in similar circumstances.

On any given day, HUGS is helping hundreds of families across the state of Hawai`i. In the past ten years, the number of families asking HUGS for help has doubled.


Platinum Level
($10,000 and above)
Blair Parry-Okeden

Na Lei Aloha Foundation
Charlene Flanter
Roy Ho
Chieko Steele

Premier Level
($5,000 – $9,999)
Davies Pacific Center *
Cecily Ching

George Otsuka
Teri Cristobal
Stefan Meinl

Macyʻs Foundation
Jamie Carr

Meadow Gold Dairies Hawaii
Glenn K. Muranaka
Mia Inoshita

Sustaining Level
($1,000 – $4,999)
Lauran & Myrna Bromley

Long & Associates AIA., Inc.
Jeffrey Long

Macy’s West Management Team & Staff *
Janis Mookini
Deena Nichols
Lavina Wong
Macyʻs West Visual Merchandising Team *
Gerald Cruz
David Furtado
Pancho Santiago

Arthur & Carmen Nitahara

Pacific Office Properties
Lawrence J. Taff
Joy Hessenflow

The Pineapple Room *
Alan Wong
Barbara Stange

Sun Communications *
Shawn Nakamoto

Pamela Tauchi-Nishi

Joy Hessenflow
Steven & Tami Ho
Jade Ching & David Nakashima
Anna Palla
Shanlyn Park

Aperture Donors
Marlene Booth & Avi Soifer
Michael & Sharon Cheape
Cathy Kawano-Ching
Cecily Ching
Bruce & Catha Combs
Mark & Janie Davis Charitable Fund
Fred & Cheryl DeAngelo
Robert Donnelly
Susan Dorsey & Van Whiteman
Dana & Ginger Edmunds
Reiko Goo
Di Guild
Linda Hakoda
Jennfer Hee
Joy Hessenflow
Cass & Lori Higa
Steven & Tami Ho
Todd & Mahina Hugo
Sally Kanehe
Dennis & Elaine Kato
Greg & Paris Kim
Roy Kimura
Lori Komer
David Kostecki & Elizbeth Ignacio
Steve & Cathy Levinson
Elliot Loden, Esq.
Karen Mashino
George & Barbara Masumoto
Jeffrey & Therese Mau
Doug & Cindy McClaflin
Sharon McPhee
Richard & Sooz Mirikitani
Merle Miura
Carri Morgan
Deneen Nakashima
Katherine, Alison & Chris Nichols
Steve & Shari Nohara
Nobukatsu Okano
Donald & Sally Parker
Kathleen Pellegrin
Becky & David Pietsch
Jeffrey Piper, Esq
PNC Institutional Investments
Jim & Maureen Scott
Jane Tanimoto
Mike Tottori
Stanley & Allison J. Uesugi
Dan & Judy White
Wikoff, Combs, & Co.
Mike & Shannon Wilson
Greg, Ruthann & Kelsey Yamanaka

Lens Donor
($10 -$99)
Rosemarie Abaya
Harvey & Cora Buenconsejo
Chris Ching
John Barkai & Linda Martell
Harlyn & Rob Caruso
Dyanne Chang
Cecily Ching
Winston & Constance Chun
Alex & Keri Coloma
Barbara Cox
Donne Dawson
Lilly Driskill & James Bango
Valeri Emosi
Will Espero
Phyllis Garrett
Michelle Harris
Steve & Joy Hessenflow
Alma Ho
Pam Ho
Thomas & Linda Ho
Albert Jeremiah
Walter & Ellen Jinbo
Marsha Rose Joyner
Andrea Kia
Greg Kikukawa
Annie Landrum
Grace Lee
Mark Levin & Fumio Yokokawa
Mari Matsuda & Charles Lawrence III
Gerald & Bernice Miyasato
Patricia Mulhern
Shirley Murakami
Stanley & Patricia Nakagawa
Clyde Nakayama
Sandy Natori
Jennifer Okuma
Amy Onafrietti
Loren Pulice
Richard Quinn
Kim Taylor Reece
Randy & Susie Roth
Candice Sakuma
June Segundo
Kim & Lance Shinsato
James Shipman
Tessie Souza
Jane Sugimura
Mark & Joanne Suzuki
Sharon Taba
Maile Tiwanak
Robert & Elaine Tsumura
Linda Uesugi
Stanley & Allison Uesugi
Shirley Utamori
Paytron Wiggins
Dan & Judy White
Irobella Wreagh
Howard Yamada
Thomas Zimmerman


Gigi Abel

AhaiʻI Olelo Ola
Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi

Emlynn Helkena &Stanton Nishihara

Amuse Wine Bar, Stage Restaurant & Cupola Restaurant
Trina Shiroma

The ARTS at Markʻs Garage
Rich Richardson

AsukaBook USA

Audio Bytes
Shawn Takabayashi

Baby Face Production
Laurie Breeden Callies

Kimberlee Bassford

The Bead Gallery
Jamie Lyn Yoshida & Jason Delmundo,Bonnie Igarashi,
Michelle Iha Yu, Anna Arita & Gale Wilson

Bishop Street Commercial
Matthew Bittick & Erin Wilde

Patricia Bittick

Debbie Friedrich

Cake Couture
Carmen Emerson-Bass

David & Laurie Callies

Dezandria Cambra- Orpilla

Roland Cazimero

Cheesecake Factory
Brian Fusco,Tony Gressak & Steve Hessenflow

City and County of Honolulu
Mayorʻs Office of Culture & the Arts ~ Michael Pili Pang
Honolulu Hale ~ Scott Goto

James Chow & Lona Torcuato

Jenna Chung

Keri Coloma

The Contemporary Museum
Allison Wong & Aaron Padilla

Current Affairs
Philip Richardson

Davies Pacific Center
Cecily Ching
Michael Fausnaugh, Patricia Ellis & Michelle Harris

EAT Catering and Café
Jocelyn Leigh

Electric Pencil
Matt Helm

Hawaii Business Magazine

HiHR Hawaii
Matt Delaney

Honolulu Star Advertiser
Nancy Arcayna, John Berger, Ben Wood

Honolulu Zoo
Dyanna Okazaki

Donna Witsell, Jeanette Callos, Steve Crocker, Jade Guess, Sherri Vallejo

Insurance Factors
Brad Martin

Jet Graphics

Clifton Kagawa

Kahala Mall
Kelly Kauinana

Kapi’olani Medical Center for Women and Children


Olena Heu

Dorna Kubota

La Pietra ~ Hawaii School for Girls
Mahina Hugo and Annie Rogers

Lavonne C.E. Leong

Macy’s West
Janis Mookini and Lavina Wong

Karen Mashino


Menehune Water

Danielle Moscowitz

Deby Chock

Kathy Muller Talent & Modeling Agency
Kathy Muller

Deneen Nakashima

Nalo Farms
Dean Okimoto

Ola at Turtle Bay Resort
Chef Fred DeAngelo and Cheryl DeAngelo

Junoh, Shaunei & Joslen Ordenstein

Susan Page Modeling Hawaii
Doug Lange

Shanlyn Park, Esq.

Petersonʻs Upland Egg Farm
Sharon Peterson Cheape

Punahou School
Luke Center for Public Service, Carri Morgan

Reel Services
Sue Larkin

Mary Scott-Lau

Scott Rogers Studios
Scott Rogers

Kate Ryan

Michelle Sasaki

Robyn Schaefer

Laurel Schuster


Deyna Shiraishi

Show and Tell
Mike Higgins

Rachel Simmons

Maiya Smith

Joel Speier

Sean Tiwanak

Annie Uesugi

Jack Uesugi

Utopia Design
Darin Uesugi

Utopia Photography
Lisa Uesugi

Wahoo Fish
Stephanie Gambetta

Wikoff, Combs & Co., LLC
Catha Combs, Grace Lee & Anna Mori

Carlie Woodward-Dela Cruz


Dezandria Cambra-Orpilla ~ 2009 Participant
Rachel Deliz ~ Community Volunteer
Tyler Holck ~ Punahou School
Caelan Hughes ~ La Pietra Hawaiʻi School for Girls
Alison Nichols ~ Punahou School
Macy Ring ~ Community Volunteer
Kalia Schuster ~ Punahou School
Devin Washington ~ Community Volunteer
Kelsey Yamanaka ~ Punahou School

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