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SCV Helping Hand: Steve & Lisa Arakaki

Posted: April 10, 2011 12:00 p.m.
Updated: April 10, 2011 12:00 p.m.

Steve and Lisa Arakaki have been married for 17 years and have two children. On Nov. 8, Lisa Arakaki suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm and a traumatic brain injury. Steve Arakaki currently pays the rising medical costs for his wife.


SCV Helping Hand recipient for the week ending April 10, 2011:
The Arakaki family

Nominated by Signal subscriber
Gary Pohl of Saugus

Here is Gary Pohl's letter of nomination:

It is on behalf of everyone who knows and works with Steve and Lisa Arakaki that I submit this story for your consideration.

On Nov. 8, 2010, life for the Arakaki family changed dramatically. Lisa Arakaki went to bed a healthy and active wife and mother, only to awaken at 2 a.m. with a ruptured brain aneurysm and a traumatic brain injury. She has short-term memory loss, partial paralysis, severe vision impairment, major speech deficits and many ongoing problems associated with brain injuries.

Steve and Lisa Arakaki have been married for 17 years. They have two beautiful children. Their daughter is 10 years old, and their son is 15 years old. Lisa is a 25-year employee of the Orowheat Bread Co. She is a bread vendor and serves different stores in the Santa Clarita Valley. Lisa's husband, Steve, is a produce manager for Albertsons grocery store, and has been in the company's employ for 35 years.

Lisa has undergone seven brain surgeries since the night of her aneurysm. She has maxed out her lifetime medical with her insurance company due to the enormous amount of medical bills she has incurred. She was just recently denied Medi-Cal; the family is appealing that decision at this time. Steve is fighting to get his insurance company to begin paying some of the expenses, but due to the red tape that has not been accomplished.

Unfortunately, like Lisa's insurance, Steve's lifetime medical will eventually be depleted as well. At this time (March 13), Lisa is a patient at a skilled nursing rehabilitation facility. She is showing slow but meaningful progress, but Steve is paying $900 a day, out of his pocket, to keep her there. This man is depleting all resources, desperately hanging on to his faith and hope that she will recover.

Steve and his family need to make sure Lisa stays where she is while receiving the best care possible toward her recovery process. We have all personally witnessed a devoted husband and loving father try to keep a positive attitude and faithful outlook toward his wife's recovery. He is one of the most upbeat, faithful and generous men you will ever meet. Please find it in your heart to help him.

We invite everyone to come and participate in our Arakaki Family Fundraiser being held on April 16-17 in the Albertsons parking lot of Bouquet Canyon in Saugus. It will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Come to enjoy raffles, food, great music and community involvement. Lisa's ongoing and past medical expenses are mounting, and we need to help this awesome family. A benevolent account has been set up for Lisa Arakaki. Any donations for her support can be sent directly to this account. Thank you in advance for considering his heartfelt appeal.

Lisa Arakaki Fund
Chase Bank
Routing No. 322271627
Account No. 956919146

Any and all money that you contribute to their fund, including the maximum amount of $500, would be greatly appreciated and incredibly helpful. Thank you for your consideration.

A note from The Signal's SCV Helping Hand Committee: We regret that we can give no more than what one committee member characterized as "a drop of water on a forest fire" compared to the Arakakis' needs. However, with the help of every Signal reader, the benefit to the family can snowball. There are two ways you can help this family - by making a donation yourself to the fund noted above, and by attending a fundraising event for the family next weekend. We invite everyone to join us in lending a helping hand to this local family.


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