Thousands Celebrate Life of Special Aiea Teen

Aiea High School Graduation
Aiea High School Graduation

HONOLULU (KHNL) - It was an emotional atmosphere at the State Capitol Saturday evening, where a crowd of three dozen held a Celebration of Life event for Andrew Sato. They came out not just to commemorate his life, but also to celebrate the lives of all foster children.

17 year old Sato was a foster kid that just couldn't catch a break. This is Sato at his Aiea High School graduation this winter. His dad died when he was eight, his mom abandoned him in a park, he suffered from leukemia, his adoptive family abused him, and he became a runaway. When he finally found a loving home, his cancer came back.

Through it all, Sato had a calm spirit which friends like Heidi Anderson say inspired and moved them. "He had no permanent family, he was on his own for so much of time, and to be suffering from a painful life ending disease. I thought, gosh, here's this kid not complaining, not bitter, he's hopeful, and he has spirit."

Sato died March first. He had once said he pledged to live the rest of his life as fully as he could. Now all his classmates say they'll try to fulfill his pledge for him.

Also Saturday, from 7 to 8 p.m., two dozen foster children showed up for a candlelight vigil. It was organized by the Heart Gallery Hawaii, which helps find homes for foster kids. The gallery is asking for donations in Sato's name and says it'll start up the Andrew Sato Inspirational Youth Scholarship Fund with the money. Call Heart Gallery Hawaii at (808) 295-1929 to help.