Support Grows to Honor a Local Hero and his Family’s Efforts to Never Give Up on People with ALS

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The ALS Association Golden West Chapter will be holding its inaugural round table discussion "Ask the Experts -- Building a Future on Hope Through Research, Advocacy and Patient Care" this Monday April 11 from 1 to 4 p.m.at the Ala Moana Hotel, 410 Atkinson Drive, Honolulu. This historic event is an opportunity for people who are living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, their families and friends.

The ALS Association Golden West Chapter
Governor Abercrombie and Lt. Governor Schatz have proclaimed April 11, 2011 as 'The ALS Association Golden West Chapter Day' to honor the Chapter’s outreach efforts to people living with ALS and their families in Hawaii.

Clarence “Bully” Nakaahiki, once a Honolulu police officer was diagnosed with an aggressive form of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) in 2006, while he and his family were living in California. They received services and support through The ALS Center at UCSF and from The ALS Association Greater Bay Area Chapter (now The Golden West Chapter). When the disease progressed, the Nakaahiki’s returned to their native Hawaii to be closer to family. They encountered a lack of access to specialized care for people with ALS, especially for those living on the outer-islands. Throughout Bully’s journey with ALS, the Nakaahiki family advocated for better services for people with ALS and to spread awareness of the disease. Bully passed away on June 15, 2010, at the age of 46. Since then, his wife Victorialei “Nohea” Nakaahiki and their children, Mahealani and Max, decided as a family, to continue their efforts to support and reach out to Hawaii’s ALS community.

On April 11, 2011, The ALS Association Golden West Chapter will be holding its inaugural round table discussion “Ask the Experts – Building a Future on Hope through Research, Advocacy and Patient Care” this Monday April 11 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Ala Moana Hotel, 410 Atkinson Drive, Honolulu. This historic event is free-of-charge as an opportunity for people living with ALS/Lou Gehrig's disease, their families and friends, and who is interested in learning more about the disease, research efforts for treatments and a cure, advocacy, patient care and services from some of the country's leading experts on ALS. Special guest speakers will include: Dr. Lucie Bruijn, Chief Scientist and Steve Gibson, Chief Public Policy Officer with The ALS Association; Dr. Robert G. Miller, Medical Director of the Forbes Norris MDA/ALS Research Center; and Fred B. Fisher, President and CEO, The ALS Association Golden West Chapter. This event was made possible by the efforts of the Nakaahiki family in partnership with The Golden West Chapter, and other dedicated sponsors.

Many elected Hawaiian officials have pitched in to show their support to strike out ALS/Lou Gehrig’s Disease at this historic event. The Golden West Chapter has received a warm Aloha from Senator Daniel Inouye, Representative Clift Tsuji, Mayor Bernard Carvalho, Mayor Peter Carlisle, Mayor Billy Kenoi, State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers (SHOPO), and the Honolulu Police Department. OHA Trustee Robert Lindsey, Trustee Aide Jeremy Hopkins, and Tenari Maafala, President of SHOPO will be in attendance. Governor Abercrombie and Lt. Governor Schatz have proclaimed April 11, 2011 as “The ALS Association Golden West Chapter Day” to honor the Chapter’s outreach efforts to people living with ALS and their families in Hawaii.

Please contact Giovanna D'Angelo, Director of Special Events at (818)-292-1758 or by email at gdangelo@alsagoldenwest.org if you have questions about the event. For more information about The ALS Association Golden West Chapter, visit our Web site at http://www.alsagoldenwest.org or call (866)-750-2572 (ALSA)

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