Kupuna Caregiver: Man sacrifices professional bowling dream for the love of his life

Kupuna Caregiver

A promise to his true love while helping other caregivers.

One man who has kept his promise to his wife after giving up his love for bowling. 

“We actually met at a bowling center,” says Ken Takeya.

Ken Takeya dreamed of being a professional bowler. But before heading off to the mainland, his friends got him to meet his dream girl.

“My friends sort of got me to show up at the bowling alley and said they got this person that wanted to learn how to bowl. So I showed up and long story short, I never went to the mainland. That was the end of my career,” laughs Takeya.

Ken and his wife Charlotte have been married for 49 years.

“Working with the kids and helping the kids, that was Charlotte’s main goal in life,” says Takeya.

But life took a turn for the worse 12 years ago when Charlotte, who suffers from a neurological disorder, was misdiagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

“Is it easy? Of course not. But it’s something that I committed to doing and that’s what we are going to do,” says Takeya. 

Ken surrounds Charlotte with pictures, from her love of horses, to rock and roll music.

“Even though she doesn’t speak too much anymore, she’ll keep a beat to the music and sing a few words so I think it’s important,” says Takeya.

It’s also important to Ken to keep his promise.

“I told her as long as you don’t give up, I won’t give up. You can see her struggling with her feet to try and stand up and hold herself up, and that tells me that she’s not giving up, she’s going to try and fight this as long as we can. In this situation, we can’t look too far ahead. What happens today, happens today and we just move on from there,” says Takeya.

In addition to taking care of Charlotte, Ken also runs a support group for other caregivers because he says his mission in life is to help others succeed. 

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