Cancer patient was ‘devoted’
Cory Kawamoto, 45, died Friday from a form of brain cancer
Family members and friends of Cory Kawamoto described him as a happy-go-lucky man who was devoted to his family.
"He and I were best friends," said his wife of almost 15 years, Sue. "Our two little boys adored him. His life was the boys and me."
Fundraiser To Aid Family
A fundraiser in memory of Cory Kawamoto will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Sunday at the Renaissance Ilikai Waikiki Hotel's Pacific Ballroom. The fundraiser will celebrate Kawamoto's life and help his family with medical expenses.
A list of items to be featured in a silent auction can be viewed at www.friendsofcory.com. The fundraiser hot line is 535-6243.
Donations may also be made at any Bank of Hawaii branch on Oahu or mailed to the Friends of Cory at P.O. Box 1328, Honolulu, HI 96807. Checks can be made payable to "YBA of Honolulu."
She added, "He was wonderful in every way."
Kawamoto died Friday at Kapiolani Medical Center at Pali Momi due to complications from glioblastoma multiforme, a malignant form of brain cancer diagnosed three years ago. He was 45.
Relatives and friends described Kawamoto, a 1978 alumnus of Roosevelt High School, as a generous man who always put others first before himself. "He had the biggest heart. ... He's the guy who will give you the shirt off his back. We are just going to miss him a lot," said his sister Jorene Belair in a telephone interview from San Francisco.
A fundraiser had been organized by many of Kawamoto's friends and co-workers before his death. It was supposed to help him and his family with mounting medical expenses. The fundraiser will still be held Sunday at the Renaissance Ilikai Waikiki Hotel's Pacific Ballroom to help the family and celebrate Kawamoto's life.
"He was such a fun guy. He was always cracking jokes, even through his illness," Belair said.
Kawamoto was diagnosed with brain cancer after he suffered a grand mal seizure while taking his sons, Matthew and Joseph, and a couple of their teammates to a pool in Mililani following a Little League baseball game. He was an assistant coach.
He underwent surgery to remove most of the tumor in his brain. According to a Web site dedicated to Kawamoto, friends said he was showing improvement and appeared to be in remission. But doctors later detected two tumors growing in an inoperable part of his brain.
Because of his health, Kawamoto was unable to work, forcing his family to sell their home and one of their cars. They moved in with Kawamoto's parents in Pearl City.
Last summer, Sue Kawamoto learned about an experimental treatment program. Her husband was accepted, and she learned how to administer the experimental drug intravenously. The treatment was not covered by insurance.
Sue Kawamoto stopped working to care for her husband and administer his treatment six times a day. Since November, Cory Kawamoto was hospitalized for pneumonia and respiratory problems.
Kawamoto is survived by wife Susan; sons Matthew and Joseph; sisters Jorene Belair of San Francisco, June Hess, Sheryl Kahookele and Kellie; parents Joseph and Frances; grandfather M. Harry Suzui; step-grandmother Hatsue Suzui; and many nieces and nephews.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. Feb. 22 at Diamond Head Mortuary, 535 18th Ave. Visitation begins at 10 a.m. Aloha attire is requested.