Racing Against Breast Cancer at Hulakai Race to Fitness
by Denise Laitinen
When Derek Park participates in the Big Island’s largest paddle to fitness race this Saturday, he’ll be wearing pink.
During the event paddlers race from Richardson’s Beach to Hilo Bay in canoes or stand up paddle boards.
Park is participating in the Hulakai Race to Fitness to raise funds to donate to the North Hawaii Community Hospital Breast Health Program.
His donation will go towards supporting patients who need financial assistance for early breast cancer treatment at NHCH.
“I want to be the only guy wearing pink,” said Park in a statement. “Until every guy there wears pink and will be racing for something! People will say, ‘Look, he’s racing for NHCH, which wants to make sure women can get mammograms.”
Park’s own mother battled breast cancer several years ago. His hope is to inspire people to take on activities that enhance their own health by improving the wellness and safety of others.
“When I began paddling, I thought to myself, ‘I’m young, I’m healthy.’ Then I’d go home and realize how I’d love to know that my life could inspire other people to do good things, whether it’s beating breast cancer or something else.”
“The goal is to increase my sponsorship for the races and give all the proceeds to patients in need,” he explained.
“It’s people like Derek who give real meaning to the word kokua and embrace the entire community with their deeds,” said Kerry Howell, NHCH vice president of development, marketing, and communications.
NHCH’s new Breast Health Program offers patients access to a the latest cutting edge digital mammography technology, a more comfortable exam experience, faster image analysis and on-going support, in coordination with Hawaii’s new mammography self-referral law, which took effect on July 1.
For more information or to schedule an annual mammogram appointment, contact NHCH’s Breast Health Program at 881-4882.
For more information on the Hulakai Race to Fitness, go to Hulakai.com or call 896-3141.