HONOLULU (KHNL) - An ordained a nun at the age of two, Sister Alicia Damien Lau has dedicated more than four decades of her life serving the needs of hundreds of patients. For her work, she is being honored as one of six recipients of the "Honolulu Forever Young" awards.
As the interim administrator of the Kulana Malama Healthcare Center, and chief operating officer at Oahu Care Facility, and the Pearl City nursing home, sister Lau is always on the move.
"My morning starts off in Manoa" said Lau. "Then I usually go to Aiea for services and what not, then I stop at my office in Pearl City pick up the mail and do a few things here."
That includes visiting with staff and patients.
"Whatever I need like my paper work and some other things, she's so important to me."
Being a caregiver began at an early age for the St. Francis graduate. Lau looked after her ailing mother when she was very young. Today she continues to reach out to those with medical needs in Hawaii.
"I love to help people" said Lau. "I like to make people's lives as meaningful as possible."
Sister Lau draws inspiration from mother Marianne Cope, who in the 1800's, cared for those with Hansen's disease in Kalaupapa on Molokai.
Going from one facility to another every day helps Sister Lau maintain personal health.
If that's not enough, she also paddles with the Lokahi Canoe Club.
"I love being out in the ocean" said Lau. "I love being in the open sea especially on Saturday when we leave at 7:00 AM."
In the past two years, Lau says she's driven about 35,000 miles.
And when she's not in her car, she's on her feet. Working an average 16 hours a day.
"There are times where I feel like oh my gosh can I make it to the end of the day? And at night I say my prayers and before you know it, it's the next morning and I'm up again to start a new day."