In 1984, a young, 11-year old boy learned he had leukemia.  At the time of his diagnosis, he was found to be 98% leukemic.  He came from a middle class family, with loving parents who worked hard so that they could afford a comfortable lifestyle for their only child.  However, during three and half years of chemotherapy and with mounting hospital bills, the financial burden and stress caused to the parents became very apparent to the boy, and his fear of dying soon turned to guilt for being sick.  He hated watching his parents suffer, not only financially, but also emotionally and physically.  As an only child, he had no siblings to turn to, and the medical treatments that attacked his body made him look and act differently from the other kids in school.  As a result, he had very few friends, and most of them didn’t understand what was happening or how to help.  During this time, his best friend was a simple rubber ducky whom he named “Ducky.”

That was 31 years ago, and that young boy grew into a healthy man who was blessed with a second chance in life.  His name is Devin Nakasone.  Devin is one of Hawaii’s most popular entertainers, with a passion for music and a gift for making people laugh and enjoy themselves through his energetic and unpredictable stage performances. He is also a sought-after motivational speaker, emcee, and consultant.  Devin has authored a children's book called "Lucky Ducky" based on his personal experiences, which will be released in Spring 2015.  He also hosts a TV show called "InsPOWration! - Stories of Inspiration, in which he interviews community leaders who share their own stories of hope.

The Concern

When a serious illness hits, it affects the whole family, not just the patient.  Even brothers and sisters may suffer as the time and money that were once shared amongst the siblings are spent on the child who is sick.  If communication is not kept open, that could easily turn into resentment.  Devin believes that critical illness, or any serious crisis for that matter, needs to be fought by the entire family, in unity, with survival as the sole focus.  Devin had the most loving, caring parents he could ever ask for, but instead he chose to tell his fears to a toy.  As close as they were, and as involved as they were with Devin's physical survival, they did not know their child was dying emotionally.  The child’s best friend should not be a rubber ducky.  
 

Going through his battle, the negative and bottled up emotions he held inside affected him as a teenager and young adult.  In his last month of chemotherapy, he became a crystal meth addict for the next 10 years.  In speaking with a doctor about children going through serious illness and then recovering, he learned that some of them faced the same challenges he did when re-entering school and their social circles.  Devin hopes that his experience can help bring awareness to these kids and their families.  



The Vision and the Mission

Although Devin’s passion is music, his mission, from the time he was battling cancer, is to make sure that children who are fighting for their lives know they can turn to their parents, siblings, or other loved one for comfort and understanding.  The vision of Prayers on Wings is that no child should feel alone.  Initially, he thought that a rubber ducky could be given to children who felt alone, but as his mission crystallized, he knew the duck was only meant to be a bridge between the child and their caretaker, or whomever they wished to be able to communicate with.   Using his experience, he has turned the rubber ducky into a symbol which represents open communication.  Our mission is building bridges of communication and inspiring others through crisis.  Improved communications can help build the family, strong families help to build a solid community, and sharing their stories of how they overcame their challenges may inspire other families to do the same.


Our Values

Communication - We believe that proper communication is the foundation to developing healthy relationships within the families, and essential for healthy mental and emotional development in children.

Inspiration - We believe that the best way to inspire others is to survive some sort of crisis and then share your story with others.

Motivation - We believe that in life, it's not about asking "why me?", but in discovering your own "why?"  Discovering the reason "why?" will motivate us to take appropriate action.

 
Our Network


Devin and Prayers on Wings have worked with the Hawaii Jaycees, Habilitat, NICU families through March of Dimes, Kapiolani Women's and Children's Medical Center, Children's Miracle Network, Hawaii Children's Cancer Foundation, the Childhood Cancer Connection, Kardiac Kids, Shriners Hospitals for Children-Honolulu, Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago, YouthBuild, Boys and Girls Club, and American Cancer Society.  We are an offered service provider for HUGS Hawaii and The Hawaii Children's Trust Fund, and the Bereavement Network of Hawaii.

 


 

Prayers on Wings in the Media

Hawaii News Now (click here)

KHON News (click here)

Midweek (click here)

KGMB Sunrise (click here)

Radio Interview with Kimo and Ikaika Kahoano on AM940 (click here)

Radio Interview with Rick Hamada heard on all Clear Channel stations (click here)

2012 Fundraiser Pics in Midweek Paina (click here)

InsPOWration! - Stories of Inspiration - 'Olelo Ch.55 (click here)

iTunes - InsPOWration Podcast Channel (click here)

Devin has also appeared twice with Pamela Young on the KITV evening news, in a full page story in the Star-Advertiser, on the Perry & Price Show and Tiny Tadani's morning show.

 

How You Can Help

1.  You may help by downloading the “Rubber Ducky Song” which is sold on iTunes for $.99.  Devin has recorded the old Sesame Street “Rubber Ducky Song” and is selling it on iTunes and other digital sites, with 100% of the profits going to charity.  Buy Devin's "Rubber Duckie" song here. 

2.  Visit our Donate page to make an online donation.  You may also send a donation in any amount made out to Prayers on Wings.  Our address is:  2888 Ala Ilima St., #2402, Honolulu, HI 96818.  We appreciate your support!

3.  Apply to be a member of our POW WOW Volunteer Team!  Fill out our online application and Kristen will be in touch with you.

4.  The best way to help us is by sharing our mission with your family and friends...either by giving them a brochure, sharing our website, videos or podcast.  You never know who may be silently in need or who may be able to inspire others by sharing their story.