Reel Hope Wahine Fishing Tournament Funds New Breast Cancer Equipment
Posted on Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Patients of our Breast Health Program now have access to updated MRI breast coil technology, thanks to a donation totaling just under $7,500 from funds raised at the 1st Annual Reel Hope Wahine Fishing Tournament, held in the waters off Kailua-Kona this past March.

In conjunction with MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), MRI breast coil technology aids Radiologists in screening patients at high risk of developing breast cancer, evaluating the extent of disease in patients diagnosed with breast cancer, performing breast biopsies, examining dense breast tissue not assessable with mammography, and establishing the volume of disease and response to treatment in patients undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer.

“This generous donation replaced our existing MRI breast coil with a new state-of-the-art coil that meets the American College of Radiology (ACR) standards by which NHCH MRI Breast Imaging is fully accredited. The ACR requires that MRI equipment must have a dedicated bi-lateral breast coil. This equipment upgrade enables our Breast Health Program to offer a more full-spectrum, patient-centered experience for our patients,” says Richard Eckert, MRI Technologist (ARRT, R.T., MR). “The MRI breast coil technology allows for the MRI scanning to be localized to the breast and surrounding tissue. It is sensitive enough to detect very small anomalies, thereby optimizing the quality of images taken for each patient. These high-resolution images of the breast tissue help us in diagnosing patients with breast cancer, as well as patients who are at high risk for developing breast cancer. We are so grateful for this donation. It will surely make a difference in our fight against breast cancer,” says Dr. George Ainge, Medical Director for Imaging.

Shawna Haynes, employee at The Charter Desk, which operates the weight scales at The Fuel Dock in Honokohau Harbor in Kailua Kona, came up with the idea to host a wahine fishing tournament to raise funds to support breast cancer on Hawaii Island and to give back to the many male fishing captains that have a mother, wife, daughter or sister with breast cancer or that is a survivor. Haynes shared, “I wanted to give back to them. They have to travel down that difficult road with these women, and it’s hard on them, as well. I thought a fishing tournament would be a great idea to get men involved with our community, raise some funds and invite women to enjoy another wahine tournament.  With the help of Karen Rubio and Bruce and Carol Herren, we were able to make it happen.” 

On March 9, 2013, 24 boats competed in the 1st Annual Reel Hope Wahine Fishing Tournament, which raised $7,833. The remaining funds raised went to support a local cleaning company that provides free services to those going through chemo or radiation therapy. Barb Jenson of the boat “Lawai’a” angled a blue marlin weighing 603.5 lbs. to secure first place.

Last year we revamped our Breast Health Program, upgrading from analog technology to a state-of-the-art digital mammography machine, providing technologists the ability to review images in real time to determine image quality, offering more information for diagnosis.


Photo captions:  

(left) Wahine anglers at the 1st Annual Reel Hope Wahine Fishing Tournament in Kailua Kona on March 9, 2013.  (right) NHCH’s patients now have access to upgraded breast coil technology which works in conjunction with MRI, thanks to funds raised by Reel Hope Wahine Fishing Tournament.