Kupuna Caregiver: Daughter finds interesting ways for cancer survivor mother to keep active

Kupuna Caregiver

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Brenda Wong’s mother is a cancer survivor who has rediscovered her love for orchids and gardening.

“We have a vegetable garden now,” said Brenda Wong. “Every weekend she likes to know that she has something to harvest, and then she has her orchids.”

Mom has also discovered streaming movies, as well as Youtube videos to make her favorite chicken dish.

“One night, we watched how to make Hainan chicken all night until two in the morning. We tried it several different times and I think we finally figured out a good recipe to make Hainan chicken.”

Wong has also been busy as the Director of Food Services at Kapiolani Medical Center–where she gave KHON2 a tour back in 2019. As a breast cancer survivor, she had no issues going back to work during the pandemic–all while coordinating all of Hawaii Pacific Health’s food donations.

“I’m just in awe of all the people donating and their generosity,” she said.

Wong has been generous with her time volunteering in her community. She even started sewing again–with mom–to make face masks.

“I call her my factory supervisor. So as soon as this outbreak happened, I started sewing masks and sending them to families,” she said. “I think it’s important to keep our kupuna active because if they don’t go out and they don’t get exposure, they tend to lose track of where they are, what day it is. She’s learning. I think she recognizes that she does need to exercise, that she needs to stay active. In the morning, I try to ask her what she’s planning or getting accomplished for the day.”

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