Fundraiser set for ailing UH Mānoa Associate Professor of Education

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    UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII MANOA — A fundraiser on behalf of Cristy Kessler, associate professor of education, will be held this Sunday, September 26, at St. Clement’s Episcopal Church located at1515 Wilder Ave, Makiki, from 1:00-4:00 p.m. Kessler has been on the faculty in the Institute for Teacher Education since 2005.

    Kessler suffers from three rare autoimmune diseases —scleroderma, vasculitis, and ankylosing spondylitis—which affect almost every organ of her body. These diseases are chronic, progressive, evolving, and any one can be fatal. Her medical expenses have been astronomical because her health insurance does not cover the treatments she needs to combat the effects of these illnesses. This current fundraiser is to help Kessler get a bone marrow-stem cell transplant in an overseas facility since there are currently no facilities in the United States that will conduct this type of procedure for her.


    The event titled “Lasagna Luau,” features plenty to eat and many items to either buy in a country store atmosphere or to bid on at a silent auction. Items that will be auctioned range from dinner for 16 at a well-known Waikiki eatery to original artwork to a baseball card collection to fine jewelry.

    The fundraiser, one of two being held this fall, is sponsored by the One of Our Own Fund, a non-profit group established to assist Kessler with her medical expenses. The group’s goal is to help pay off her outstanding debts and to finance future treatments that could save her life. Local faculty and staff coordinators are Deborah Zuercher, Beth Pateman, Joe Zilliox, Paul Deering, Jon Yoshioka, Sheila Apisa, and Waynele Yu.

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    The University of Hawai`i at Mānoa serves approximately 20,000 students pursuing more than 225 different degrees.  Coming from every Hawaiian island, every state in the nation, and more than 100 countries, UH Mānoa students matriculate in an enriching environment for the global exchange of ideas.  For more information, visit