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Bone Marrow Donors Needed

Since this web site supports the culture, attractions, and people of Hawaii, I would like to share one family's plea for a bone marrow match for their daughter. Read on for their story. Contact information is at the bottom.
-Annie Billups

Makanalani Oke Akua Konanui was born on April 05, 1997. She was born 5 lbs. 14 oz. and was a very healthy child. Makanalani Oke Akua has one brother, four sisters, and has a niece and nephew.

Makanalani Oke Akua was a very active child. She loved going fishing, exploring reef, deep sea diving and picking opihi with her dad at Mahukona. She loves playing basketball, dancing, and singing. In fact, she's our family's American Idol. Most of all, Makanalani oke akua simply loves being with family.

It all started on August 12, 2009. Makanalani oke akua was very sick. She had swollen glands and swollen bleeding gums that practically covered her teeth. I rushed her into Hilo Medical Center where the doctors took numerous tests. We were immediately sent to Kapiolani Hospital for women and children on Oahu. It was here that we found out our daughter had Leukemia AML cancer. This was a shock to us all. The very next day we started chemotherapy. We stayed in the hospital for all of August and September. At the end of September we moved into a hotel.

On October 10, 2009, Makanalani had a fever and started to throw up. We rushed to the pediatric intensive care unit at Kapiolani and waited for news of a fungal infection that spread all over her main organs. She spent a month in the ICU hooked up to oxygen and taking an antibiotic. We thought we were going to lose her. However, by the end of the month she recovered enough to be moved out of ICU. She began physical therapy and started to walk again.

Makanalani could not do chemotherapy for five months while fighting this infection. The medication was working and the infection was starting to go away. On March 1, 2010 she took a bone marrow test, which showed the Leukemia had returned. Once again, we were admitted into Kapiolani Hospital to start chemotherapy with the hope that chemotherapy would not further spread the fungal infection.

The doctors recently did an echo test and found out that her heart is not functioning well enough to do the full chemotherapy treatment. Because we can't continue with full treatment, the Leukemia Aml cancer cells are more likely to come back.

On April 27, 2010 Makanalani had surgery to remove her gall stones and gall bladder because they were inflamed. We have a long road ahead of us with more chemotherapy and fungal medication. It has been a constant fight for Makanalani. We know that she will need a bone marrow transplant soon, so we are starting to look for matches. She has four more chemotherapy treatments before it will be time for a transplant.

Our family is going through a lot. We permanently relocated to Oahu. It is very hard for us all financially and emotionally. If you or someone you know is interested in being a donor for our daughter, we would greatly appreciate it.

Mahalo ,
Fred & Cheryl Konanui jr
Please contact us at: 1-808-769-9911 or islandstyle1808@yahoo.com

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