Waikele Teen Embraces Kapiolani Advocacy, May Meet Obama
Keegan Passos thinks centipedes make great pets, is designing a “Heart House” for families of children with cardiac disease, and he might meet President Barack Obama next month as the 2014 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Hawaii Champion.
A Waikele resident, Passos is the state’s only representative. “I have the power to get my message out there and get donations from people. I can make sure they know we need donations to get the right equipment and gear to heal the children like me and the other kids out there,” he said.
The needs of sick children at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children, the state’s sole CMN hospital, is something Passos knows all too well.
Born with two rare heart conditions — Tetralogy of Fallot and pulmonary atresia — he also suffers from Tourette syndrome, seizures and ADHD.
He has had more than 20 surgical procedures at Kapiolani, including three open-heart surgeries, and he’s just 16 years old.
His trip, scheduled for Nov. 9-15, will take him to Washington, D.C., and Orlando, Fla., which will feature breakfast with Congress, a visit the White House, a conference with his fellow CMN champions and plenty of fun at Disney World.
If he does meet Obama, Passos has a few words planned. “I would ask him for donations to the hospital,” he said.
Clearly, Kapiolani’s need is always on his mind. “I want (people) to realize that with children like me, there are not many cures, so I want them to be able to donate,” Passos said. “And I really want to thank them if they do donate, so kids like me can have a cure, live longer, have a stronger life.
“I love helping other children, other people. I don’t think I’m ever going to stop. But I love the position I’m in: I actually have the power to get the message out there this time.”