Rafu Craft Editor

Think pink! October is Breast Cancer (BC) Awareness Month.

Keeping the “faith” heart-shaped silver and copper pendant designed by Emily Ito of San Gabriel symbolizes conviction and trust. (Lightwaves Unlimited)

If you’re reading this right now, you are so dared to spread the word by all means possible to every mom, grandma, daughter, sister, auntie, cousin, friend who is a woman, to get her mammogram!

Awareness is key. Support a cause to find a cure. Gals and guys — walk, run, bike, golf, stand up, be pretty in pink, eat a pink ribbon bagel, donate.

BC is the most common cancer among gals in the U.S., aside from skin cancer. We’re talking one in eight. White, black, yellow, young, old! No discrimination here. Empowered gals need to take charge of their bodies, their health, their lives.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure recommends a mammogram every year from age 40 if you’re of average risk. Clinical self-exams should start at age 20, every three years.

This year, some 230,000 gals will face a BC diagnosis.

In 2000, it caught me by surprise. You do what you gotta do — lumpectomy, chemo, mastectomy. I was one among the 85% of women with no history of BC in my family. That routine mammogram turned out to be my lifesaver, catching the cancer early on.

A dozen years ago only books and magazines existed for info. We’ve come a long way with BC websites and online support systems balanced with cutting-edge cancer drugs.

This little toddler will be toasty wearing a chanchanko baby vest offered by Kristy Fukunaga of San Mateo. (Eco Soil Designs)

Thanks to clinical trials and the gals who volunteered to participate, and continue to do so, meds are helping to reduce the risk of BC. Tamoxifen, Evista and Arimidex offer hope.

Celebrities get BC and many openly choose to share their journeys. Sheryl Crow, Christina Applegate, Kylie Minogue and Hong Kong’s Liza Wang, to name a few.

The BCSC, my idea of a breast cancer survivors club, has 2.6 million unsolicited members. The ultimate goal is to help find a cure, in our lifetime, to kick BC in the butt.

To soothe the soul and relax the mind, try yoga first, then go shopping.

Get your pink on and head to one of the Asian arts and crafts shows where creative artisans work year-round to market their wares for Halloween and Christmas. Up north in San Leandro, the 18th annual Eden Holiday Craft Show takes place this Saturday. A portion of the proceeds benefits the Eden Japanese Community Center.

A newcomer to the show scene is Kristy Fukunaga of Eco Soil Designs. Born and bred in Hawaii, she believes in practicing the true aloha spirit of treating everyone as “family.”

With a background working in start-up tech companies, tackling an online retail site was a natural progression. Fukunaga focuses on face-to-face sales in her two-year-old side business, thriving on travel and opportunities to meet people. Her vision of combining fashion, design and crafts is well on its way.

Need a chanchanko? Tag it as a warm toddler’s vest designed by Fukunaga’s mom, who lives in Hawaii.

Just like a chameleon, this versatile magic scarf gives the wearer 20 different looks. (Eco Soil Designs)

Try the magic scarf. So versatile, it can be worn in at least 20 different ways.

In her mix are aloha and T-shirts, bags of all sorts, even crystal soil beads that grow 300 times their own size and can replace soil for indoor plants.

Adversity challenged the Fukunaga family when her dad was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago. Today, he is a cancer survivor.

“It’s these types of experiences that make you evaluate your priorities and motivate you to take action,” she said.

Emily Ito of Lightwaves Unlimited is an initiate into the elite sisterhood of BC survivors. A jewelry designer for over 18 years, she’d already carved out a niche market for her eclectic designs before getting a cancer diagnosis.

Working with sheet metals that are bent, hammered and fabricated, statement pieces now feature words and sayings. Something so simple can mean so much — XOXO, hope, I am, life’s a journey, fight like a girl, live-laugh-play. Go to

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A meaningful bracelet is destined for a very special gal. (Lightwaves Unlimited)

Saturday, Oct. 6, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Eden Holiday Craft Show
Marina Community Center
15301 Wicks Blvd., San Leandro, Alice Hu

Saturday, Oct. 13, 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
SEJSCC Holiday Boutique
Hawaiian-Style Pancake Breakfast
7-11 a.m.
Southeast Japanese School &
Community Center
14615 Gridley Rd., Norwalk
562-754-8582, Richard Shinomoto

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