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Bosom Buddies

Another celebration will be held Oct. 12 at 5 p.m. at Pictures Plus in Pearl Highlands, this time to honor Agnes Cope and kahu Nettie Tiffany.

Though she has seen hard times, it seems nothing can keep Tseu from fulfilling her mission, and her outlook on life makes it easy to understand her passion and the support she has received from those around her.

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Kumu hula 'Iwalani Tseu, who has beaten two types of cancer, is full of positive energy that rubs off on everyone she meets. And she's gathered a group she calls 'bosom buddies' — fellow breast cancer survivors and their supporters — to pose mostly sans clothing for a new book, with a fundraiser planned Oct. 22 | Lawrence Tabudlo photo

Tseu’s joyous individuality is unparalleled, and upon meeting her one cannot help but feel an internal healing taking place. While vibrant and animated, she exudes a love that is peaceful.

Tseu’s daughter, Aureana Tseu, describes her perfectly.

“She is the diamond in my life who adds so much sparkle, so rich with love and knowledge,” she writes in an email. “One can’t help but want to be around her infectious personality. Her laugh will wash all your worries away. Her smile will melt your heart.

“Like a precious jewel, not all will be so lucky to know her, but the ones who do cherish and treasure her.”

It’s evident that Tseu has a knack for helping people. She knows she has a purpose because the passion to do more is burning inside of her.

“I have these wonderful women, family and friends who believe in me, and I have to make it happen,” she says.

She started ‘Iwalani Foundation in 2006 with the aim not only to talk aloha, but also live it.

Through her foundation, comprised of a small group of what Tseu deems “strong women,” she wants to reach out to others who are struggling and will drive to your house just to talk story, help you prepare a meal, dance a hula for you or massage your feet.

“Or even clean your toilet,” she adds.

That’s what the aloha spirit means to her, and she understands how much a little love and time can mean to someone.

As long as she can drive to your house or meet with you, she’ll be there.

Being afflicted with cancer or having a loved one struggling with the disease is not easy to deal with, and for many, talking about it is just as difficult.

Tseu learned through her own struggles that it’s important to talk about it.

“Stress kills everything,” she says. “For those who have cancer, you tell them how much you love them because we’re only on this journey once. You cannot wish and say would have, could have, should have. Don’t wish. Make it happen now.”

And that’s exactly what she’s doing. To raise funds for Magnificent Women of Hawai’i: Making a Difference she is hosting a fundraiser Oct. 22 at Rumours nightclub in Ala Moana Hotel. From 5 to 10 p.m., guests can enjoy food, raffles, entertainment and dancing. Tickets cost $20 presale and $25 at the door.

Those who wish to make a monetary donation or need more information can call her at 623-6776.

Tseu’s desire is to celebrate life with and for all her bosom buddies who posed with her.

She knows she will make sure their voices are heard, and she’s hoping she can raise the funds to create the book, which also will highlight educational facts about breast cancer.

“I’m blessed and I don’t have any regrets,” Tseu says with vibrancy in her voice. “I’ve traveled, I’m rich in life as far as education, family and friends. I cannot complain.”