A Beautiful Outlook On Life

Tammie Miura with Eden in Love stylist Kayla Asing. Photo by Rachel Robertson Photography

Women’s fashion boutique Eden in Love at Ward Warehouse recently hosted a special styling session with nine patients (age 10 to 24) of Kapiolani Medical Center’s Pediatric Oncology Department. In addition to keeping their outfits, the girls also got their hair and makeup done, and had pictures taken by a professional photographer.

Among the participants was 24-year-old Tammie Miura of Pearl City, who was diagnosed with leukemia in 1998 and has osteosarcoma (a type of bone cancer).

“I was 11 attending Hongwanji Mission School and it kind of started with strep throat, and then eventually it turned into headaches for a month and then fevers for a month,” recalls Miura. “I played soccer, and my dad noticed that I was slowing down in my activities, and eventually my muscles started to hurt.”

From there, Miura was referred to a bone specialist who discovered the abnormal cells from a blood test. Since then, life has been a roller coaster ride.

In 2000, Miura relapsed and received a bone marrow transplant with older sister Tracie as her donor.

She graduated from Pearl City High School in 2005 and attends University of Hawaii majoring in family resources. She also works at the Honolulu Community College book store.

Last October, she had surgery to amputate her left foot (the bone cancer was in her left ankle). Since August, she’s been receiving chemotherapy treatments every two weeks that will continue through June.

But despite the challenges she’s been given, Miura moves on with an admirable outlook on life.

“I have my good days and my bad days, more good than bad,” she says. “I just take everything day by day. I push myself to use my prosthesis, and when I’m with my friends we make jokes about it. I use laughter as a cure. There are moments that I come home and cry, but then I take that emotion and throw it out the window. The biggest thing I can look at is I’m happy to be alive.”

At Eden in Love, Miura was teamed up with stylist Kayla Asing for what turned out to be an unforgettable evening for all involved.

“The experience was amazing,” says Miura. “I learned about styling and how to accessorize. But for me they gave me the opportunity to look beautiful in a time when it’s hard I don’t have any hair, my weight fluctuates. And the thing that really bothers me is my leg. I’ve had it for 24 years and then it’s gone.

“Being older, I can see how important it is for these girls to want to feel pretty, and I felt that’s what they did for us. It was so heartwarming, and for my mom, she was there and she hasn’t seen that kind of smile on my face in a long time.”