When we look at the health of our Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (NHPI) community in Utah-- heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and most importantly infant mortality are among the top health disparities.
The Pacific Health 5K is a way to remind our NHPI community members to stay active and to have fun doing it as a family or with friends. We help raise awareness on important health issues, promote healthy lifestyles, and build healthy communities one step at a time.
The 5K is held each year in the summer. Details for our 2020 5K will be posted in the coming months.
Registration will open early next year. Please check back on our website in February or March.
2019 GIVING BACK: your proceeds help families
Each year, all proceeds from the event are donated to two deserving families from the Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander community that are currently experiencing extenuating health issues and need assistance with medical care and/or living expenses that were nominated by the community.
This year's recipients are Agnes Lomu- Penitani and Chris Lock.
Agnes was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer that is metastatic to her liver and lungs. She is a wife and mother to three beautiful young children, one of which has a rare genetic disease that requires extensive care. Agnes has been a hero and champion in the community, helping the refugee community in Utah and volunteering with the SLC Pacific Island Business Alliance.
As Agnes is undergoing treatment and caring for her young children, she has not been able to work full-time. Proceeds from this event will help the Lomu-Penitani with living and medical expenses.
In 2015, Chris was diagnosed with Stage 4 naseo-pharyngeal cancer. He completed treatment at the end of that year, and was cleared as cancer free. The good news was short lived as last year his oncologist discovered necrosis of the brain as a result of the aggressive cancer treatments. This has impacted Chris' mood, independence, short term memory, and ability to work.
Chris' and his wife Amy have endured these medical conditions all while supporting their teenage and young adult children through church missions and college. The proceeds for this event will help relieve the family of some of their financial burdens.
KEY LESSONS LEARNED
Through their experiences with cancer, Agnes and Chris have learned the following lessons from their individual battles with cancer:
LEARN YOUR FAMILY HEALTH HISTORY
It is so important to learn your family's medical and health histories. Knowing this information can help you to determine what diseases are prevalent so that you can advocate for yourself when it comes to screenings. Some screenings may need to be done earlier based on your family history.
ADVOCATE & EDUCATE
It is okay to advocate for yourself and seek other opinions from various health care providers to insure that you are making the best decision. Taking the time to educate yourself about diseases and conditions when they arise will also help you to be prepared when it comes to talking to health care providers.
Don't be afraid to speak up and ask questions, it is important that you understand what is happening and that your health care providers take the time to explain and make sure you understand.
If you feel that you are not being listened to, bring in others to advocate for you or find a provider that will give you the services that you need so that your treatment can be successful.
LIVE HEALTHY NOW
Living a healthy and active lifestyle is also important, while cancer can affect anyone and everyone at any time, about half of all cancers could be prevented by making healthy lifestyle choices.
Our sponsors the Utah Cancer Control Program and Huntsman Cancer Institute offer some excellent and free services to the public.
Huntsman Cancer Institute
- Cancer Learning Center (free resources for all your cancer information needs-- call, text, chat, visit, or email for information)
- Cancer Prevention Presentations (by appointment, email email@example.com to schedule)
Visit https://healthcare.utah.edu/huntsmancancerinstitute/screening-prevention/ for additional resources and information.
Utah Cancer Control Program
- Free cancer screenings at any of the Utah health clinics
Visit https://cancerutah.org/ for additional resources and information.
We can always use more helping hands! If you are interested in volunteering for this event, we need you. Please contact our Pacific Health 5K organizer, Laneta Fitisemanu at Laneta@pacifichealth5k.org