Her legacy lives on ...
see story below

Sharnell Onaga
September 6, 1968 - April 3, 2007

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Remember to let that person know you love them every single day for you never know what tomorrow brings. All and everyone is worth of our highest GRACE. After the friendship of GOD, A  FRIENDS affections is the greatest treasure here below. I pray I am that friend (MOM and my Family) you can always count on. A FRIEND is a single soul dwelling in TWO BODIES, so is your FAMILY....

- Sharnell Onaga



Sharnell's legacy lives on ... 

Isle woman’s marrow saves Cincinnati girl

Maya Chamberlin & Rose-Anne Schucht

Kapolei resident Rose Anne Schucht never imagined that a simple act done to help a friend in need of a bone marrow transplant would end up saving a young girl’s life.

Schucht, a former Ihilani Resort and Spa employee, joined the national Be the Match bone marrow registry after her friend and coworker, Sharnell Onaga, was diagnosed with leukemia in 2007. Nearly 750 Ihilani employees swabbed their cheeks to help Onaga, who needed a lifesaving transplant.

The chance of finding a match ranges from 1-in-540 to 1-in-10.5 million, depending how common the patient’s tissue type is, according to the Hawaii Bone Marrow Donor Registry.

Two years before and thousands of miles away in Los Angeles, Sam and Mina Chamberlin welcomed their first child into the world.  "Everything was perfect," Mina Chamberlin said of her daughter, Maya.  "I would never have known what was coming."

Maya Chamberlin, 11, of Cincinnati, left, was reunited with her bone marrow transplant donor, Rose-Anne Schucht, a staff assistant for The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers 1357, during a trip to Oahu in July.
(George F. Lee| glee@staradvertiser.com)

As Maya grew, she was in the 95th percentile for her height and weight and appeared to be precocious. By 18 months she knew her numbers 1 through 20, and by age 3 was reading chapter books, her mother said.

Mina Chamberlin kept detailed records of her daughter’s health, including details on how long and often baby Maya breastfed, her changes in weight. She had even kept an Excel spreadsheet documenting the daily tally of wet diapers. “I don’t know if it was maternal instincts or what, but I took obsessive notes, and I think when Maya got sick it was instrumental in helping the doctors put things together,” she said.

From infancy, Maya suffered high fevers every few weeks. Her blood work revealed that during those fevers her blood count was low, causing her to become anemic, and her platelets — the cells involved with blood clotting — would drop.

“This kept happening over and over again, and I knew something was wrong,” Chamberlin said. “(Pediatricians) said this is something she will probably grow out of as she gets older, but the fevers continued.”

In 2009, after a series of blood tests and a review of Chamberlin’s notes by an infectious-disease doctor, the 4-year-old girl was diagnosed with the life-threatening immunodeficiency disease known as HLH (hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis).

“It was on 09/09/09 — I’ll never forget the date,” Chamberlin said. “They started her on steroids right away.”

HLH patients have overactive white blood cells that accumulate on and attack healthy lymph tissue — the spleen, liver and lymph nodes — potentially damaging vital organs. The only effective treatment is a bone marrow transplant.

When Maya’s health became stable enough for her to travel, the Chamberlins moved to Cincinnati from L.A. to be near Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center, a top hospital for HLH treatment. Chamberlain quit her job, and her husband took a job based in Chicago.

Three months after arriving in Cincinnati, Maya found a marrow transplant match and started chemotherapy in preparation for the transplant. After receiving the new marrow, Maya’s cell count rose above 90 percent, but her family’s elation lasted only a few days.

“We were just fighting for her life,” Sam Chamberlin said. “We were leaning on our faith, praying and praying, and then — it doesn’t work.”

Mina Chamberlin said their hopes were shattered as they watched Maya’s cell count drop from 90 percent to 70, to 25 and, two weeks after the transplant, zero.

At that time Maya kept a stack of her then-favorite book series, the Berenstain Bears, by her bedside and every day drew a new picture of her family.

“One day I walked into Maya’s hospital room, and she was reading her books and doing her art. She looked up at me and said, ‘I’m gonna make it,’” Sam Chamberlin said, holding back tears. “It was right then I knew Maya’s not going away.”

Maya soon found another match in Schucht. The family was required to wait a year before the next transplant, and the girl underwent intensified chemotherapy.

“When they told me the recipient was a 4-year-old child — I have a son the same age — so as a mom it just broke my heart,” she said.

Schucht said when she received the call, her mind flooded with memories of Onaga, who died in 2007, leaving behind a husband and three daughters. Onaga had found a marrow donation match, but when the donor was contacted, he opted not to participate.

While most marrow extractions are done through a blood draw, Schucht was put under anesthesia for marrow extraction from her pelvic bone. “It’s a bad myth that people think it’s painful,” she said. “They put you under the whole time, and I went home the next day.”

The second transplant was a success, and Maya, still a voracious reader, is now a healthy 11-year-old playing soccer, basketball and the drums starting sixth grade.

“The one and only reason why Maya survived all this was because of RoseAnne,” Mina Chamberlin said. “If she wasn’t on the registry, I don’t know what the outcome would have been.”

The family first met Schucht a year after Maya’s successful transplant. And last month, while on Oahu for vacation, the Chamberlains met with Schucht again, expressing eagerness to share Maya’s story and to let others know that a cheek swab is all it takes to register and possibly save a life.

“A person who needs a transplant is facing either receiving a transplant or dying,” Sam Chamberlin said. “When someone does a marrow transplant, they’re involved with saving someone’s life.”

http://www.pressreader.com/usa/honolulu-star-advertiser/20160820/textview (B1 Local Money)
Honolulu Star Advertiser, August 20, 2016


For my Amazing Mom

... you Deserve to have the spotlight Shine on you


Time after time, Mom, you are the one who proclaims
your pride in me, but today it's my turn to talk
of pride and place the spotlight on you — for the
life you've lived and the example you've been to me.
No matter the situations life has dealt, you've handled
them with honor and grace. You are a woman of
countless abilities. I've looked up to you all my life;
growing up, I assumed you could do most anything.
The pride I have in you goes beyond all the things
you have done. I'm proud of the person you've
always been - kind, caring, dependable, and wise.
So I am the one who is bragging today because
I have a mom who makes me so proud!



When I look at you Mother,

I see Love and so much more

When I look at you ,I see my life through your eyes. I see the strength you always offer me, the comfort you continuously show me the support you provide me, and the magnitude of the love that you unselfishly share.

I see the tears you shed when I cry, the laughter you share when I laugh, the Hope you have for me and the when I feel disillusioned, and the Faith you have in me when I face life's challenges.

I see the many sacrifices you have made and continue to make for me, the inspiration you are to me when I need direction, the devotion you show to me as a parent, and the encouragement you give to me when I need a friend.

When I look at you, Mother and see my life through your eyes, I feel Very loved, fortunate, and very blessed. Thank you for being all that you are to me, for being the best, And for being more than a Mother can be.....we love you with all our heart and soul.

                        HAPPY MOTHERS DAY

                         GOD BLESS YOU


Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day... Oh yes, Motherhood.... how special.  It's an act of love that's never ending.  Sharnell, we will always celebrate you and the Special Mother you are, and always will be!

Our arms are around you every single day and we can feel your arms around us.  On this Mother's Day we want you to know that your girls are doing just great and are so beautiful.  Everyone gives them so much love and they are so very cherished.

Happy Mother's Day and put your heart at rest, knowing that your girls are doing fine.

Our love... God bless you and may He put his arms around you every single day and let you know that we all love and miss a great Mother like you....

Here's celebrating you and the very special Mother you are...

I Love You Mommy

To Our Very Special Mommy

It's always fun when it's just us girls, 'cause it's the best time ever with a special Mom like you!  That's why we love you and the neat things we do whenever we're together!!!

We can see us someday doing neat things again! Happy Mother's Day.... our Precious Mommy. We love you and miss you very much!

Your treasures.... Kaila, Rachel & Sarah

P.S. With all our love we always give thanks to God for you!  Mom, you have been such a blessing to us... and on Mother's Day we want you to know how much we love you for welcoming Christ into our home and how deeply we thank him for giving us such a wonderful, caring, and loving Mother like you.


My Dear Daughter Sharnell ~ 

My Pillar of the world is HOPE...

To you Sharnell, MY CHERISHED CHILD, you're never forgotten. You're always in my thoughts. You're precious and so loved.  Your sweet and gentle ways; I'll cherish forever with everlasting LOVE.

In honor of you, my precious Child, you will never be forgotten. As beautiful as your heart is you are unforgettable, and will always be cherished in my HEART & SOUL...

The Children are doing great, and are so very smart  in their own unique way. Thank you for the 3 jewels you left us.

Happy Mother's Day. May God bless you forever!

With love,

I love and miss you a whole lot!


Moms and Dads Make Everything Better

You’ve had a bad day
Or a terrible night,
And you don’t have the strength
To stand up and fight
You want to give up
Life is awful, all right
But who really cares?
It’s your Mom and Dad…always there.

Your heart just got broken
You’re feeling alone,
With more angst and sadness
Than you’ve ever known
So you take a deep breath
And pick up the phone
Who’s always there?
It’s your Mom and Dad…

You’re so overwhelmed
There’s just too much to do
It feels like the whole world
Is leaning on you
You can’t even imagine
How you’ll ever make it through
Who’s by your side?
It’s your Mom and Dad…on your side.

You’re upset and confused
Big decisions to make
Which path to pursue?
Which chances to take?
Would it be a smart move
or an awful mistake?
Who’ll be your guide?
It’s your Mom and Dad…always there.

Yes, all through your life,
Whatever you need
To make you feel better
or help you succeed.
Some advice or a hug
Or a kind, thoughtful deed
It’s always 
One hundred percent guaranteed
Who loves you the most?
It’s your Mom and Dad…on your side.













If ...

If God had a candy bar,
He’d give you half – 
If you told a joke,
He’d surely laugh…

If God had a scrapbook,
You’d be in it – 
If He held a raffle,
He’d let you win it…

May the same God,
Who sent His only Son
Send you blessings,
Filled with Mother’s Day fun.

"Save a Life"

in Sharnell Onaga's memory, please support

The Hawaii Bone Marrow Donor Registry
The Hawaii Cancer Society
The Hawaii Blood Bank


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