As the father of seven children, Michael O’Malley spent six anxious months on the second floor of the Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children as his daughter, Angie, who was born prematurely at 5 and a half months, was being taken care of.
“We have a world-class health facility here, and people don’t realize that hospitals need the community’s financial support in order to do what they do,” says O’Malley, who is now volunteer board chair of the Kapiolani Health Foundation. “Because of declining reimbursements for all health care, it is getting expensive and financial support is very critical.”
As the chair of the Kapiolani Foundation, he is spear-heading a fund raising effort to support expanding the hospital, and to celebrate its 100th anniversary. The Kapiolani Foundation supports the Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children, which treats more than 40,000 children a year for everything from scrapes and bruises to birth defects, cancer, disease, AIDS and trauma.
O’Malley, a Harvard Law School graduate and tax attorney with Accuity, says, “Most people have no idea that hospitals need help, but once they see the good work being done, and why help is needed, they are more than happy to help out.”
Getting the word out is a daunting challenge, the Kailua High grad (class of 1971) admits. To kick off the public awareness efforts, KSSK radio station is doing a three-day live broadcast from the hospital cafeteria Sept. 6 to 8. Perry and Price, Kathy with a K, and Curt Williams host the radiothon. People can donate money to the hospital by going online at www.radio4keiki.org or calling 951-KIDS (5437).
O’Malley’s daughter Angie grew from a palm-sized baby into a 5-ft. 8-in. soccer goalie who is a junior at Kailua High. O’Malley’s daughter Cristin also had some CAT scans done in the emergency room when she was only 3. Now she’s in the Air Force. O’Malley, who has been on the foundation board for the past 10 years, presently volunteers for the Hawaii Historical Foundation, and as a soccer referee. O’Malley is a stepfather, a biological father, and an adopted father. His wife Cheryl brought Bradley and Bryson to the family to add to his two girls, Cristin, and Aislynn. And they adopted Brenna, Joey, and Angie.
Whenever O’Malley looks into his children’s eyes he thinks of the good work the hospital has done, and he hopes other children can have the same chance to be healed.
- Linda Dela Cruz
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