Leslie K.
I was born & raised in the East Bay; my mother was born in Stockton & was raised in Marin County. Her father was a Native Hawaiian traditional healer, coming to California in 1908 and purchasing the first of 8 Chinese restaurants in Sacramento in 1910. When I was old enough to travel on my own, I was sent to Hawaii to stay w/relatives, unbeknownst to me, I was learning my grandfather's healing traditions. Following an on the job injury in 2000 that left me permanently disabled, I had no choice but to revert back to what i knew & reconnected with family in Hawaii & re-learned my family's work; going through traditional graduation in 2004 and establishing a Non-profit called the "Holistic Honu Wellness Center". In the 10 years since, I have introduced Native Hawaiian traditional healing to the Bay Area, created an all encompassing educational program for interested parties, serve an average of 3,000 patients per year utilizing old traditional protocols & methods and have won awards in the areas of cultural competency and cultural health literacy for my work. Maintaining connections with the old ways is essential to many of our elders, no matter the culture. It is essential that their voices be heard whether it is for their personal healthcare or their standard of living or quality of life. As the younger generation, it is our responsibility to see that they are cared for and truly heard.