Kaneohe woman has rare kidney disease

Janell Araki
Janell Araki
Darren Araki
Darren Araki

By Zahid Arab - bio | email

KANEOHE (KHNL) - Look at what's around you right now. What do you see? Furniture? Bills on the table? Maybe, even your TV remote control.  They're all things that seem harmless, but for one Kaneohe woman, they could cost her life.

A simple cut from any one of those objects spells danger for Janell Araki. She suffers from Calciphylaxis and the prognosis for people with it is very poor.

"I've got your dialysis tomorrow, yeah," said Janell's husband Darren Araki.

For the Araki's, it's one appointment to the other.

"Doctor appointment next Tuesday," said Darren Araki.

Janell was diagnosed with kidney failure last November, but things got worse.

"I basically had no will to live," said Janell Araki.

In February, she contracted the rare disease, calciphylaxis. It builds up calcium in places like the heart, organs and blood vessels and turns them to bone.

Something as simple as a scratch isn't able to heal, turning into large lesions, which may require limbs to be amputated.

"You can't scratch it and if you break your skin then you're susceptible to getting that wound infected," said Janell Araki.

"She's prisoner in her own home," said Darren Araki.

Along with a breathing machine, she takes antibiotics, pain killers and diabetes shots daily. Once energetic, she often feels drained.

"It's hard, I get very very frustrated and angry with myself," said Janell Araki.

"Things have definitely changed, my priorities and her priorities," said Darren Araki.

But as her condition got worse, Hawaii's local music community came her side. Usually behind the scenes working the sound, Janell now takes center stage.

"You start turning your energy towards the positive," said Darren Araki.

"If I ever get negative, I look back at that. I say to myself these are people who don't know me and they're actually supporting me," said Janell Araki.

For the Arakis, each moment together now means something more. Hands to hold, hearts connected, hopeful for what's ahead.

There's no exact cure but Janell treats her condition by limiting fluid intake and cutting anything containing dairy or potassium from her diet. Whether its this condition or any other disease, the Arakis urge anyone to reach out because there are agencies with resources to help.

If you'd like to help Janell Araki offset medical costs you can make a donation to:

Friends & Family of Janell Araki

P.O. Box 6477

Kaneohe, HI 96744

Attn: Janell Araki

Or you can call Kahaku Reimann at (808) 864-1638.

Friends and family are organizing the "Ohana Concert Fundraiser" for Janell Araki on Sunday, May 3rd from 2 - 10 p.m. at the Aloha Tower Marketplace.