illness

Painted Nails

 

Van Hoang, a Vietnamese immigrant and nail salon owner in San Francisco, sees her American dream begin to crumble with the discovery that her health problems, which include two miscarriages, are the result of toxic chemicals in products used in her salon. She unintentionally becomes involved in the national fight to bring reform to an $8.54 billion industry that touches the lives of nearly every woman in America.

 

Roland Cazimero, Almost 3 Years After Onstage Illness

Robert Cazimero, musician and entertainer.

 

Roland Cazimero, who was hospitalized after falling ill in 2014 during The Brothers Cazimero’s Maui May Day concert, and who has since performed only rarely, speaks with me about his health challenges, personal life and career in a Long Story Short episode debuting Tuesday, April 25 at 7:30 pm on PBS Hawai‘i.

 

Roland, whose nickname is Bozo or Boz, still hadn’t discussed the state of his health with his older brother and longtime music partner, Robert Cazimero: “We just don’t.” But he believes Robert knows that the sun has set on their iconic performances.

 

A virtuoso of the 12-string guitar, Roland would let Robert, on bass, handle the artful and upbeat onstage oratory and the smooth segues between songs. Roland injected teasing; he also was a master of short, flippant remarks. Together, the Brothers drew crowds and created enduring fans with their beautiful, soaring music and their entertaining banter.

 

In our conversation, Roland speaks comfortably and at length about picking up music easily as a kid in a musical family, but never getting formal piano lessons like his brother Robert and his twin sister Tootsie, because he was “kolohe” (a rascal). Also as a keiki, he met the legendary singer/guitarist Gabby Pahinui, and was entrusted with buffing up Pahinui’s guitar. He laughs that Gabby never got his name right; Roland was always Ronald.

 

As an adult, he was a “rebel” and a “player,” or womanizer. He said Robert and their hula dancer, the late Leina‘ala Heine, would take care of devoted fans and “high makamakas,” and Roland would “hang with the hoodlums.” They were his friends, and he says almost all of them have died, some in prison.

 

Appearing at PBS Hawai‘i with his loyal wife and caregiver Lauwa‘e, Roland explains matter-of-factly that his partying lifestyle was bad for his health, which is still touch-and-go. The couple reveals that he’s been diagnosed with congestive heart failure, diabetes and carpal tunnel syndrome.

 

Now more of a homebody, Roland still writes songs and plays guitar, adjusting for his carpal tunnel condition. Lauwa‘e, who holds down an admin job when she’s not taking care of him, is his “best friend in the world,” he says – next to God, who’s “the best, period.”

 

One doctor told him plainly that he should make peace with his maker. “Done,” says Roland. While he’s still not always compliant with what the doctor says, he’s become a follower of Christ. When people ask about his health, Lauwa‘e likes to keep the answer short and sweet: “He’s alive.”

 

For any of us, that’s a gift.

 

Aloha a hui hou,
Leslie signature

 

INSIGHTS ON PBS HAWAI‘I
Hastening Death When Death is Inevitable

 

For the 12th time since 1998, Hawai‘i lawmakers will consider legislation on physician-aid-in-dying. Should the current House bill pass, Hawai‘i would become the seventh state in the country to legalize this controversial end-of-life alternative for people suffering from terminal illness.

 

Hawai‘i House Bill 201 allows a terminally ill adult with the capacity to make an informed healthcare decision to request a prescription for aid-in-dying medication from their attending physician to facilitate a peaceful death.

 

On the next INSIGHTS, strong arguments will be made for both sides of this debate currently being heard by our state lawmakers. Will Hawai‘i be the next state to legalize hastening death when death is inevitable?

 

Your questions and comments are welcome via phone, email and via Twitter during the Live Broadcast.

 

Phone Lines:
462-5000 on Oahu or 800-238-4847 on the Neighbor Islands.

 

Email:
insights@pbshawaii.org

 

Twitter:
Join our live discussion using #pbsinsights

 


AMERICAN EXPERIENCE
JFK: Part One

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE – JFK: Part One

 

Follow JFK’s rise to power from his birth to his election as president in 1960 — the youngest man ever to be elected to the office. With illuminating interviews from family members including sister Jean Kennedy Smith, niece Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, historian Robert Dallek and author Robert Caro, this episode offers new insight into Kennedy’s early years, from his transformation from a sickly youth to Washington’s most eligible bachelor to the nation’s president.

 

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE
JFK: Part Two

 

Follow Kennedy into the White House through his assassination and examines the unfulfilled promise of his presidency. Offering fresh assessments of the successes and failures of his tenure, this episode features frank appraisals by administration officials, including John Siegenthaler, Thomas Hughes and Harris Wofford, civil rights leaders Andrew Young and Julian Bond, and journalists Evan Thomas and Richard Reeves.

 

FRONTLINE
Being Mortal

 

FRONTLINE teams up with writer and surgeon Atul Gawande to examine how doctors care for terminally ill patients. In conjunction with Gawande’s book, Being Mortal, the film explores the relationships between doctors and patients nearing the end of life, and shows how many doctors – including Gawande himself – struggle to talk honestly and openly with their dying patients.

 

JACKIE ROBINSON
Part 1 of 2

 

Examine the life and times of Jack Roosevelt Robinson, who in 1947 lifted a nation and an entire race on his shoulders when he crossed baseball’s color line. Ken Burns reveals fascinating stories about the legend’s life on and off the field.

 

Part 1 of 2
Robinson rises from humble origins to integrate Major League Baseball, performing brilliantly despite the threats and abuse he faces on and off the field and, in the process, challenges the prejudiced notions of what a black man can achieve.

 

JACKIE ROBINSON
Part 2 of 2

 

Examine the life and times of Jack Roosevelt Robinson, who in 1947 lifted a nation and an entire race on his shoulders when he crossed baseball’s color line. Ken Burns reveals fascinating stories about the legend’s life on and off the field.

 

Part Two
Robinson uses his fame to speak out against injustice, alienating many who had once lauded him for “turning the other cheek.” After baseball, he seeks ways to fight inequality, but as he faces a crippling illness, he struggles to remain relevant.

 

This program will encore Sat., April 16, 10:00 pm

 

NOVA
Can Alzheimer’s Be Stopped?

 

Alzheimer’s ravages the minds of over 40 million victims worldwide. Join scientists as they untangle the cause of this tragic illness and go behind the scenes of major drug trials to discover the therapies that may slow and even prevent the disease.

 

Ride the Tiger

 

Search the bipolar brain to find out where the biological and chemical breakdowns occur and how we may be able to pre-empt disorders and fix or rewire our brains. Learn if new treatments can lead to advances in other areas of mental illness as well.

 

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