Medeiros hosts cancer walk for senior project


Photo by Riann Fujihara

Senior Tatiana-Marie Mendez wins a $10 gift card to Jamba Juice at the fundraising cancer walk hosted by senior Leialoha Medeiros on Wednesday, Sept. 28. Mendez also won one of two grand prizes, a certificate for a paragliding session, later.

Clara-Josephine “Leialoha” Medeiros, who is currently aspiring to get her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing, raised over $1,000 through a fundraising cancer walk at lunch on Wednesday.

“Even though my contribution was small, I feel like I helped in some way,” she said.

To bring awareness to the cause and encourage participation, Medeiros sold “pink passes” in the days leading up to the walk.

All Kamehameha Schools Maui students and staff who paid $1 before Sept. 28 were allowed to wear pink shirts with jeans, entered in a lottery, and were able to buy donuts from Krispy Kreme and Acai bowls from Mo ʻOno.

Jamba Juice was also on hand, but students did not need a pink pass to make a purchase, as the vendor was set up by the student government for all students; however, the profits went to Medeiros’ cause.

“The whole process all was really an amazing experience. I loved how I got the chance to meet new people and mak[e] new friendships along the way. Also, it was very eye opening to see how many people helped and supported me during this journey. I loved every second of it, the good and the bad,” Medeiros said.

After third period on Wednesday, students were already eagerly lined up for the different food companies. Medeiros started the walk at around 12:30, and people started to lap the quad.

At the end of the walk, students were greeted with goodies, such as t-shirts, pens, keychains, bracelets, and bags that were all donated by the American Cancer Society. Mo ʻOno donated $2 from each bowl they sold, $400 all together. Krispy Kreme donated 240 donuts for only $40 and Jamba Juice donated 105 drinks.

“There’s a lot of planning that is involved with an event like this, and there is a lot of behind-the-scenes work that makes things like this happen. A lot of teachers helped. Students, friends, family, organizations–all came together for one cause which was good,” said BJ Medeiros, Leialoha’s father.

The event ended with a lottery. Medeiros called out the winning numbers for different prizes, from Jamba Juice gift cards to a Kahoma Ranch ATV Tour and paragliding tickets from Proflyght Paragliding. The grand prize winners were senior Tatiana-Marie Mendez, who won the paragliding tickets, and sophomore Mason Pagan Draculan, who won the ATV Tour.

It was a lucky day for athletic utility worker Ms. Tanya Souza, who won with four out of the eight tickets that she had bought. She won $10 gift cards to Jamba Juice, Whole Foods, and Subway, and she also won an Apple USB charger kit, which she said she needed.

“I was excited and grateful,” “Aunty Tanya” said. She plans to redeem her gift cards for future lunches.

Athletic utility worker Ms. Tanya Souza and administrative assistant Ms. Ronnelle Suda laugh about their luck of winning four lottery prizes.
Photo by Riann Fujihara
Athletic utility worker Ms. Tanya Souza and administrative assistant Ms. Ronnelle Suda laugh about their luck of winning four lottery prizes.

After all the prizes were given away, Medeiros said that she would like to do it again. She said that through this experience, she learned that event planning takes a lot of work, time, organization, support, and passion.

Her own personal experience is what drove her passion to make this event happen.

“What initially motivated me to do this project was the loss of my boyfriend’s…mother, older brother and nephew from brain cancer. They all passed away in a short time period…. I was compelled to help in any way I could…I wanted to raise money and donate it to ACS [the American Cancer Society] so that they may use it towards funding research to find a cure for cancer,” she said. 

At the end of the day, Medeiros raised $1,009, not including the proceeds from the Jamba Juice sales yet.

Afterwards, she took a check to Lori Poaipuni, the events coordinator at the American Cancer Society.

Not only did Medeiros wish to make an impact on cancer patients, but she also hoped to inspire other students.

“I would hope that my event inspires other students to set a goal for themselves and do everything necessary to reach it because anything is possible if you put your mind to it and work hard!” she said.