By Diane Ako
A 37 year old Honolulu mother of three would appreciate your prayers. Barbara "Barbie" Ho, wife of Hawaii News Now main anchor Keahi Tucker, has leukemia. If you'd like to stay updated or help, her husband asks you please check her website, Help Barbara Ho Beat Leukemia. The situation changes day to day, and Tucker says it's best to contain the information to one central source.
"I'd like to express my thanks to everyone. There are so many people trying to help, it's overwhelming," Tucker told me in a telephone call. "I'm so appreciative. This is actually a testament to my wife; she's the nicest person I've ever known, and that's why I married her. This just shows she has such nice friends."
This Friday, July 22nd, Ho's friends organized a fundraiser at Secured Gold Buyers. It will be held from 5 - 8pm at Ward Warehouse in Honolulu (between Cupcake and Loco Boutique). "Please assure people that we are NOT asking them to donate the cash they receive for their jewelry, but simply asking for everyone to come on that night and Secured Gold Buyers will STRICTLY make a 20% donation directly to Barbie for all the proceeds they made during that time. Although we may not be able to help as a donor, we can still help by attending fund raisers, giving a donation or just moral support!" says her friend Jen Tema, in an e-mail blast.
Tucker is self-conscious about the situation, and in having his private life now so public. "I'm still adjusting to that. It's unusual," he said.
According to Tema, media personality Tiny Tadani is sponsoring Friday's fundraiser and will do a segment on "Match for Barbara" on Tiny TV, every night at 10:30 pm on OC16.
This story makes me both sad and hopeful. Sad, because I'm close to Ho's age and stage of life, so it's quite close to home to see that an active, healthy person with three children who need her, is now struggling with this misfortune. I don't know Ho or her husband more than a friendly acquaintanceship, connected through the media. (Ho briefly reported for KHON.) But they're both well-regarded and it's so unfair that this should happen to good people.
On the other hand, it's inspiring to see all the people who band together to help a woman. It's heartwarming to realize people will give of themselves for a common cause.
I wish Ho and Tucker the best.
Daily updates and Ho's blog at: matchforbarbara.com
Also reach me via DianeAko.com