HONLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Memorial services have been set for former police outreach worker Sharon Black, who died Thursday of lung cancer.
A remembrance ceremony will be held Tuesday, April 17 at 11 a.m. at Honolulu Japanese Seventh Day Adventist Church at 2655 Manoa Road in Manoa, her family said.
Black spent more than twenty years organizing the Kau Kau Wagon in an effort to feed the homeless and mentally ill in downtown Honolulu. She was 52.
Friends say she passed away under hospice care at Hospice Hawaii's facility in Kailua late in the afternoon Thursday. She was surrounded by her family and her dogs, friends said. Black had been fighting lung cancer that had spread to her bones, brain and liver.
"My mom always told me if you believe in something, fight for it," said Nicole Black, Black's daughter who is an U.S. Army specialist stationed in Fort Riley, Kansas. "She was always worried about how people felt. She wanted people to feel good about themselves and not have to go hungry.
Her three certified therapy dogs had been assisting Black in during her struggle, as they had worked with countless other patients over the years. Mokka, Polo and Rambo are specially trained great danes who had learned to become extremely friendly with strangers. For years, Black had taken the dogs to hospitals and nursing homes to help bring cheer to patients and employees.
A week and a half ago, Black made a televised plea for someone to adopt all three of her dogs, knowing that she did not have much time to live. On Tuesday, after hearing from hundreds of people by phone and email offering help, friends and family made initial arrangements to send them to live on a ranch on the Waimea side of the Big Island.
Her three dogs will attend her memorial service, Nicole Black said.
Woman dying from cancer finds home for therapy dogs