Ronald McDonald House
Danica Kimura’s Legacy
By Reenie Rea
When asked, Roxane Kimura will probably explain her involvement with Ronald McDonald House Charities of Hawaii by simply saying “I do it for the children.” But her motivation for wanting to help is really much deeper. You see, everything she does to make a difference in children’s lives is to honor the memory of her daughter Danica.
In February of 1993, Danica, a beautiful, happy six–year–old, began suffering from seizures and doctors were unable to determine the underlying cause. They could only put her on medication to try to control her episodes. She tried to lead a normal life by continuing first grade at Waimalu Elementary School, although she began needing tutoring for extra help. But by mid – July, Danica was noticeably going blind.
Not long after, one Friday night, Danica got really sick, and on Saturday she was back at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children. “That’s when we found out from the doctor that there was significant deterioration of her brain,” Roxane tearfully recalls. “The doctors told us that the only part left was the part that kept her bodily functions going; keeping her heart beating, her lungs breathing, and kidneys filtering.”
A Pediatric Neurologist gave Danica somewhere between six weeks and six months to live, and Roxane and her husband Lindsey were faced with a staggering responsibility that no parents should ever have to deal with—preparing their young daughter for her finaldays on Earth.
On the following Wednesday, the Kimura’s were getting ready to take Danica home, but that morning in the hospital she passed away. “We were there, we got to hold her, we got to talk to her, and we knew she was already passing,” recalls Roxane.
It took a while for Roxane and Lindsey to process Danica’s stunningly rapid death, and move forward, but the couple very much wanted to find closure so they began to research the causes of seizures. “We found out that seizures in young children can be because of the environment, and that toxic chemicals in children are stored in their brain because that’s the largest amount of fat cells in one place,” Roxane says.
Her research made her wonder if she could have provided a healthier home environment for her daughter. “I enjoyed a clean house, so I used products that I grew up with, which is common for everyone. You know, the harsh cleansers, detergents and aerosol disinfectants,” she admits. “That’s all we knew. We didn’t have choices like we do now.”
Roxane decided that she needed to get on a mission, and that’s how it began. “I was just one mom on a mission, but now it includes other moms and even some dads,” she points out. “Our mission became to educate and make changes a little at a time, one family at a time, one child at a time, and one organization at a time.” So Moms On a Mission was born, and now some 35 committed members donate their time and help raise money for the children and families of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Hawaii.
For the past two years, Roxane and her fellow Melaleuca customers have been donating environmentally friendly and safe cleaning products, lotions, air fresheners, and hand, dish, and laundry soaps every month to the two Ronald McDonald Houses and RMH Family Room. “This ensures a safe, healthier, non–toxic environment.” Roxane says.
Moms On a Mission does so much more than donate cleaning products. They come and clean the two Houses the first Saturday of every month. They have donated to the Annual Golf Classic, held Easter activities for the children to enjoy, and teamed up a few times with Pacific Expos to have a booth a the New Product Shows held at the Neal Blaisdell to collect donations for RMHC–HI.
Thank you Roxane and Moms On a Mission. You are heroes in the hearts of so many!