Kaneohe woman suffers from rare illness - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Kaneohe woman suffers from rare illness

Dr. James Wong Dr. James Wong
Darren Araki Darren Araki
Janell Araki Janell Araki

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email

KANEOHE (HawaiiNewsNow) - A year ago Janell Araki's body showed the early signs of Calciphylaxis. Today we see what it's done. Surgeons amputated a finger and most of her toes.

"My right foot, they got rid of all the toes. And the left side, only my big toe," she said.

Calcyphylaxis is a rare illness that mostly affects dialysis patients. It's marked by a buildup of calcium in blood vessels that ultimately kills body parts.

"They start breaking open or developing wounds on their legs and arms and on their torso that do not heal," said Dr. James Wong, a vascular surgeon at Straub.

"There's no blood flow there and it gets really sore," Janell said. "All of a sudden your body shuts down. It's overwhelming."

It's also expensive. The Araki's have health insurance but still owe $25,000 in unpaid medical bills. Bandages cost $500 a month.

Since there's no known cure, there's fear Calciphylaxis will strike Janell again. It could start with a scratch.

"We're told no trauma, no scratches, no wounds. Even surgeries have to be thought about thoroughly before they even try to do something. We want to keep her in a bubble but we can't," said her husband, Darren.

Janell is well-known in entertainment circles. She owns a sound system business. Darren ran it. In October he suffered a stroke.

They haven't lost hope.

"You have to have faith that everything will work out," Janell said.

Wong said Janell is doing better. Her surgeries are healing but she's a long way from being whole.


Fundraiser for Janell Araki:

April 25 at Rumours Night Club
Tickets are $20
Call 233-9634

Donations can be made to:
Friends of Janell Araki
PO Box 6477
Kaneohe, HI 96744

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