HONOLULU (KHON2) — It’s one of the most challenging things many people face.
Being a caregiver to a family member or loved one.
Most people do it because they simply don’t have any other option.
Then there are those who choose the profession.
KHON2 highlights the work of one caregiver who will soon be representing the best of all of us.
“We are so excited,” said Steven Lee, owner of Brightstar Care Honolulu. “10 years we’ve been doing this. It’s been a big goal of ours.”
“She just exemplifies who we are what we do exemplify,” said Alison Lee, owner of Brightstar Care Honolulu.
Steven and Alison lee are owners of Brightstar Care Honolulu. An in-home caregiving company that provides personalized care led by a team of registered nurses.
One of whom will soon be representing Hawaii.
Each year the Brightstar Corporation honors their top caregivers across the country.
Ultimately selecting four caregivers from each region of the United States.
One whom will be selected as caregiver of the year.
This year Hawaii’s Ann Okahara earned the distinction of caregiver of the year for the western region.
“We are so proud words cannot express how thankful we are,” said Steven.
Six years ago Okahara started working with Tony. She’s been with him ever since.
“It’s like all my hard work has paid off,” said Ann Okahara, Caregiver of the Year west region. “I don’t really know because I feel what I do is just what I love. But it’s nice being honored and appreciated.”
Okahara, like all caregivers says knowing that she has the support of not only her client, but his family, is the ultimate reward.
“It’s personal it’s a member of my own family and my own father my own grandfather,” Okahara added. “It’s everything, and I couldn’t do this if I didn’t care”
The four regional caregivers are selected each year out of thousands of caregivers nationwide. And nominated by the clients they serve.
“We’re just really happy you’re part of our family,” said Tony’s daughter Liliam Kam. “Thank you so much for all you do, and all you’ve done, continue to do. We really really appreciate you.”
Soon, Okahara will be traveling to the mainland to met up with the other three regional honorees.
Steven and Alison Lee will be there, as they always have, only this time with someone from their team of professionals.
“We thought how awesome would it be to have somebody from our state, a little state in the middle of pacific, when it’s national award,” said Steven Lee. “It’s just awesome. It goes beyond winning this. Just showing the care that all of our caregivers provide. The heart that they have. How much it means, and what a difference it makes to the families that we serve.”
For Okahara, who also has her own family to attend to, it’s the ultimate validation for a career choice she made to change lives for the better.
“I love to make somebody’s life better or easier and being there advocate,” said Okahara. “That’s the main thing is advocating for them”.