Radiothon aims to raise money for Hawaii’s keiki

It’s a dining room turned radio studio as KSSK broadcasts live from Kapiolani Medical Center for the Radiothon for Kids.

The event raises funds for Kapiolani Children’s Miracle Network.

“It’s absolutely essential. We are a not-for-profit organization, so we rely on community support to make sure we can provide the programs and services that insurance does not pay for,” Kapiolani Medical Center CEO Martha Smith said.

Those things include prescriptions, clinical equipment, and even toys.

On Thursday, volunteers from local businesses manned the phones and patients shared their miracles on air.

“We’re here to give back to the community. We’re here to share our story in hopes that we connect to others that can help give,” mother and volunteer Amanda Kaahanui said. “It’s important because we’re raising money for our hospital here in Hawaii.”

Nine years ago, Kaahanui’s son, Ikaika, was born with a hole in his esophagus and trachea. He endured 13 surgeries — the first at just 10 days old.

“They’ve been just a miracle for us here. They’ve saved his life four times,” Kaahanui said.

Ikaika is now a thriving fourth grader and was chosen to be Hawaii’s ambassador for the Children’s Miracle Network.

But the miracles don’t end there. Donna Otto’s three children were all born two months premature.  They weighed in at just a pound-and-a-half and had a 50 percent chance of survival.

“The staff and the doctors were so wonderful. They were our support system, they were there when we needed them. We didn’t know that Kapiolani was here, but they were ready for us,” Otto said.

She, too, volunteers every year for the Radiothon.

“I’m so grateful for the health of my children that it does my heart good to give back and support the cause because I feel like you never know when we’re going to need Kapiolani again, and I want them to be ready for me,” Otto said.

The Radiothon raises between $150,000 and $200,000 each year. It continues Friday between 5 a.m. and 7 p.m.

To donate, call 951-KIDS (5437).

For more information, visit this website.

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