Queen's earns four grants through Komen fundraising

Published On: Sep 17 2012 07:16:00 PM HST

"The visual really is an impact for them," said LorrieAnn Santos, who created the "Lei of Aloha," with lacing beads that represent the sizes and shapes of breast cancer lumps.

"It also shows that not all lumps are circular," she said.

LorrieAnn Santos created the project that's educated 5,000 statewide. Santos also authored a grant that earned $25,000 in 2012 to keep the project running.

"We wanted something that people would want to wear and would be asked about to share the story and continue the education," she said.

It's education that's helping patients prevent and prepare at the Queen's Genetics Center.

Where survivors are informed that learning about whether it's hereditary, is an important part of their family's well-being.

"What are the risks for my sister or my daughters," began Allison Taylor-Shykowski, who is a genetics counselor.

"So, often it's an emotional time, but we really try to help ease that," she said.

Taylor-Shykowski said some of the red flags are if a survivor is under the age of 50, has had different cancers, or if there's a family history.

Dr. Cisco Conde created the Survivorship Program. He is working with Navigator Andrea Wilburn to guide and prepare patients for side effects.

"They're preoccupied with trying to get well, they're not feeling well, they do not understand what is being told to them," said Wilburn.

"We know the treatments can cause side effects, so we monitor for any ongoing pain, fatigue, neuropathy," he said.

"We have to look at the whole patient (to) make sure we take care of all their needs," said Wilburn.

Grants by the Komen Foundation is funding hundreds of thousands of dollars that is going directly to Hawaii survivors for programs providing comfort and care.

"One thing we've been able to accomplish is to prevent patients from falling through the cracks," said Conde.

In each of these programs, grants also help to pay for everything from inter-island travel, to co-pays and meal vouchers.


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