7 Things You Should Know About the Aloha Cancer Project
A new local organization is hoping to help people diagnosed with cancer.
(From left to right) Daniel Gray, Christa Wittmier, Tony Pisculli and Stephanie Kong. See more pics of the Aloha cancer project launch party below.
Photos: Colin Cross
Christa Wittmier (aka Super CW) and Daniel Gray (owner of the club Nextdoor) are staples of Honolulu’s nightlife scene and have both battled cancer. They both have an active and busy lifestyle, so when they were diagnosed with cancer, it was a shock.
“I started to have crazy headaches,” says Gray. “I finally went to the hospital and got a MRI and I found out that I had a stage 4 tumor in my head.”
Wittmier was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer on May 9 of last year. Medical research suggests that women should start getting mammograms between 45 and 54, according to the American Cancer Society. Wittmier was 39 years old, and is currently in remission.
After their experiences, Wittmier and Gray wanted to create a resource for newly diagnosed cancer patients. Of course, cancer is a complicated disease, and every patient has their own experience about the best way to deal with it, but they wanted to talk about the side of cancer that you normally don’t hear about and, of course, fight it with hope and aloha. Here are seven things you should know about the Aloha Cancer Project.
1. It’s a positive support group.
When Wittmier and Gray were newly diagnosed cancer patients, they turned to support groups for help, and found them not supportive at all. In fact, they were depressing. Wittmier found people were trying to one-up each other and didn’t have a positive outlook on cancer. “We are talking about this as a chronic disease that we have to live with, but we can very much live with it,” says Wittmier.
2. It’s a resource to learn how to fight cancer with hope and aloha.
As the saying goes, “cancer doesn’t discriminate.” But there are other options than the hospital suggests to fight it. Wittmier and Gray will be using their own resources to help other people explore those alternatives, such as homeopathic treatments.
3. Raising money is part of the battle.
Aside from being diagnosed with cancer, you also have to deal with the costs of treatment. Gray didn’t have health insurance, and, once he found out that he had a stage 4 brain tumor, he quickly signed up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Health insurance only covers a portion of the medical costs, so the Aloha Cancer Project will help fund people who are in need.
4. The website has a lot of resources for people living with cancer.
There are a few critical first steps that newly diagnosed cancer patients should follow. Aloha Cancer Project’s website has a wide range of topics, such as healthy recipes, how to fight cancer and how to live with cancer.
5. This organization is not just for cancer patients.
You don’t have to have cancer to use Aloha Cancer Project as a resource. Wittmier explains that it’s for anyone who has been touched by cancer.
6. Food makes a difference.
It’s important to cut out certain foods from your diet, which is why you can find healthy recipes on the website. You don’t even have to eat boring soda crackers and oatmeal. There are recipes for homemade custard pie and pizza.
7. There are more Aloha Cancer Project events that you can attend in the future.
If you missed the launch party for the Aloha Cancer Project at Nextdoor, don’t worry. There will also be other events on April 18, July 8 and Nov. 11 from 6–9 p.m. at Nextdoor.
For more information visit, alohacancerproject.org.