Kupuna Caregiver: Sisterly love

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“She could outrun me. When she climbed trees I didn’t dare do it because I knew I could fall. I was the good girl, she was the rascal one,” smiles Elaine Okazaki.

“Haha I do,” laughs sister Elmira Fukumoto.

From skiing, yoga and golf, Elmira Fukumoto loves to stay active. She even hikes Koko Head every week.   

“It was always a thing for me to be fit and to maintain my weight,” says Fukumoto.

But nearly two years ago while playing golf, Fukumoto suffered a stroke.

“I was in shock, I was in denial. It was hard for me to accept that now I have to live with a pacemaker,”  says Fukumoto.

“She said I had a stroke, and I said okay. I wasn’t really sure what it was all about. But she tells me not to tell anyone. That’s the first thing she tells me and I said okay,” says sister Elaine Okazaki.

“You know with friends you can’t say much even though they say call me anytime. But you don’t want to bother them. But you can say that to your sister like are you going to Longs? Can I go with you?,” says Fukumoto.

Sister Elaine was there for Elmira every step of the way, along with other family members, and she always kept a positive attitude.

“I’ve always tried to be positive, why dwell on the negative and even if there are negatives, you try to look for something good,” smiles Fukumoto.

It’s that attitude, active lifestyle and eating a healthy diet that have made a difference in her road to recovery.  

“If you’re thinking I’ll do it tomorrow, don’t.  Just get up and do it today because it’s for you,” says Fukumoto.

“Who would think of climbing Koko Head? I mean I’ve heard of people falling off Koko Head. But she’s amazing with her stamina,” says Okazaki.

“I feel good, I feel healthy and it makes me energetic. I want to be active and do this for the rest of my life,” smiles Fukumoto.

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