Sixteen-year-old Chevas Wong, who loves to play music and belt out a soulful song, makes it a top priority to donate his talents to the Hawaii Lupus Foundation. His mom, Cheryl Jong, was diagnosed with lupus in 1987.
Lupus is an autoimmune disorder that can affect any organ and can be treated with corticosteroids, anti-malarios, immunal suppressants and chemotherapy.
He’ll be playing at the upcoming “Shine A Light On Lupus” Twilight Fun Walk July 9 at Kapiolani Park. Entertainment opens with the Honolulu Boy Choir, and the headliner is Guy Cruz. KQMQ’s Justin Cruz will emcee.
Chevas says although he manages his own company, Big Duck Productions, which showcases young talent, he puts volunteering his music as a top priority with the Hawaii Lupus Foundation. This year Big Duck Productions presents young entertainers Bryna O’Neill, Eddie Saito and Tamlyn Maruyama at the walk.
“It’s great I can help an organization that gives back to the community,” says the singer, composer, guitarist and pianist. “If I can do anything to help with that, I will.”
Volunteering since last year, Chevas says he really loved it when he got everyone at one of the lupus functions to sing.
At age 4, Chevas started drumming, and from the age of 7 he became a part of the Honolulu Boy Choir and Hawaii’s Youth Opera Chorus. He’s also trained under Emmet Yoshioka, Roslyn Catracchia and Jason Uesato.
You’d never know it by watching him play now, but a few years ago Chevas had rheumatoid arthritis that inflamed his joints and made it very painful for him to play his music. He got over it eventually, and these days he cherishes the time he has to jam, hang out with friends, listen to music and sleep.
His mom has recently joined the staff of the Lupus Foundation as a part-time administrator. The McKinley grad homeschools her four children: junior Chevas,; sixth grader Christian Rae, 11; pre-schooler Elizabeth, 4, and Tyler, 2. And life with the foundation is a family affair as everyone gets involved including her husband, Kevin.
Proceeds raised from the Shine a Light on Lupus Twilight Fun Walk — with activities and registration starting at 4:30 p.m. July 9 go to programs to help families, spread awareness and promote early detection. For more information about the Hawaii Lupus Foundation, call 538-1522, or log onto www.lupuswalkhawaii.org.
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