Public Health Student and Faculty Member Host Be The Match Hawaii Documentary Movie Screening

Daria Parkinson and Roy Yonashiro

Undergraduate Public Health student Daria Parkinson worked with Be The Match Hawaii (formerly the Bone Marrow Donor Registry of Hawaii) and Assistant Professor of Public Health Emily K. Roberson, Ph.D., to host a screening of the documentary movie, Mixed Match, at the Hawaii Loa campus on Friday, Nov. 16. Mixed Match is told from the perspective of mixed race blood cancer patients who are forced to reflect on their multiracial identities and complex genetics as they struggle with a nearly impossible search to find bone marrow donors, all while exploring what role race plays in medicine. 

Following the movie screening, student, staff, and faculty attendees participated in a question and answer session with Be The Match Hawaii Recruitment Specialist Roy Yonashiro, as well as Wally Ahuna, whose life was saved in 2014 by a bone marrow donation. Wally’s wife Kat Ahuna, who served as caregiver for her husband as he underwent the bone marrow transplant and recovery process, also spoke with the group about the importance of caregivers and family support for those suffering from blood cancer. 

Parkinson organized this event as part of a Fall 2018 internship with Be The Match Hawaii, for which she received valuable hands-on work experience as well as course credit for the PH 4030 Practicum course. She also worked with other students and student organizations to promote and facilitate bone marrow drives on HPU’s campus and in the community. Over the course of Parkinson’s internship, many members of the HPU community signed up for the bone marrow registry. 

Following the Mixed Match screening event, Be The Match Hawaii presented the HPU College of Health and Society with their very own copy of Mixed Match, along with a full educational screening license so that it can be used in future campus events.

Those who are interested in learning more or joining the Be The Match Registry can do so via the special HPU Health link created by Be The Match Hawaii: https://join.bethematch.org/HPUHEALTH

More information about Be The Match Hawaii can be found on their website: http://www.bonemarrowhawaii.com/

Pictured are: Daria Parkinson and Roy Yonashiro