Fund benefits Mililani man battling rare cancer
Friends of a Mililani man have established a fund to help with expenses for treatment of a rare type of bone cancer.
Chad Senas, 38, was diagnosed in early January with osteogenic sarcoma, also known as osteosarcoma, affecting his hip and upper thigh.
Osteosarcoma is the most common type of a very rare bone cancer, according to Mayo Clinic's Web site. It mostly affects people between ages 10 and 30, but can occur at any age, the clinic said.
Arrangements are being made for Senas to fly in July to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., which has specialists to treat the cancer, said Andy Yoshida, owner of AJTK Enterprises LLC and a family friend.
"Because of the rare nature of the cancer, no expertise is available in Hawaii to perform the necessary surgery," he said.
Mayo Clinic generally fights the cancer with chemotherapy, followed by surgery on the tumor and "limb salvage techniques," the Web site says.
Senas' tumor initially was the size of a football and he is following an aggressive regimen under the care of Dr. William Loui, Yoshida said. He is receiving chemotherapy treatments every two to three weeks.
Senas has been employed at Pioneer Contracting Co. for 20 years and his wife, Janette, worked part-time at the Wahiawa Dental Clinic, but neither has been able to work since his cancer was diagnosed, Yoshida said.
Several months of follow-up treatment also will be necessary after he returns from Minnesota, Yoshida said.
He said Senas is "a giving, loving person who is always helping friends with projects, whether it be construction projects or working the concession at games."
He said Senas enjoys hunting and off-roading with his children -- daughters Ciera, 18, Chastity, 17, Chanelle, 15, and Courtney, 14; and son Chad Jr., 7. The family worships at the Waipio Grace Brethren Church.
"They're really a nice family," Yoshida said, noting all the children are athletes. He said Chastity was named All-State Softball First Team outfielder in the March 19 Star-Bulletin and Ciera plays for the Hawaii Pacific University softball team.
Before he was diagnosed with cancer, Senas had anticipated a trip to Las Vegas at the end of this month to watch Courtney play softball for the Pearls in the Amateur Softball Association tournament.
An anonymous donor has paid for the trip for Senas, his wife and Courtney "as an incentive," Yoshida said.
He said Senas remains optimistic, humorous and caring, "making visitors feel comfortable with his condition and accenting conversations with his boisterous laughter."
Donations may be made to the "Friends of Chad Senas" at any First Hawaiian Bank branch.