Linnie Ikeda is a delightful 24-year-old teacher's aide who wants nothing more than to help young children and live a normal life. That normal life ended in 2008, just as she was about to graduate Pearl City High School.
It started with painful bruising on her arms, legs and torso, which was attributed to what is known as Gardner-Diamond Syndrome, caused by stress and anxiety. Then in 2010, she began bleeding from her tongue, which was extensive and required 11 surgeries and 7 transfusions.
A year later, the bleeding started coming from her eyes. Almost every morning, she awakes in a pool of blood. The bleeding from the tongue has not subsided and the bruising is getting more and more painful.
Such a plight would overwhelm any young woman. And Linnie and her family are very private. It took Hawaii News Now three years of meeting with them and a worsening condition to have them go public.
Last week reporter Lynn Kawano and photographer Tine Howard completed their remarkable story on the Ikedas.
The reaction has been overwhelming. Hundreds of people have called or left comments on Facebook asking how they could help. Others have just left prayers or suggested remedies. You cannot help but be moved by Linnie's courage and her family's overwhelming love.
It was our hope in doing the story that we would find help for Linnie. She has seen 30 doctors and though they have provided good care, they have not found a diagnosis. The answer may not come from Hawaii but perhaps on the Mainland or elsewhere in the world.
We will stay with this story and support Linnie and her family any way we can. Thank you for your strong reaction to what she is going through and for your care and thought during this difficult time.