Kapiolani's Wall of Hope displays images and stories of former patients in the hopes to support and inspire current patients and their families as they brave their own medical journey.

Ann Suen

Wall of Hope: Stories of Courage & Inspiration


Ann SuenDuring a routine mammogram, a spot was seen on Ann’s right breast. She had a stereotactic biopsy and thankfully discovered the spot was benign.

But the feeling was short-lived.

A few months later, Ann’s mother passed away and Ann was called back in for another mammogram. Still reeling from the loss of her mom, Ann remembers the flurry of calls, leaving work early and being devastated by the news that this time, it was serious.

“I’m going to die,” she thought.

Not wanting to dampen her son’s celebration of graduating from the Honolulu Fire Department, Ann waited an agonizing week to break the news to family.

Afterwards, Ann began researching different treatment options. She spoke to many different providers: an internist, naturopath, oncologist, breast surgeon and even an acupuncturist before deciding to get a bilateral mastectomy and breast reconstruction.

Today, Ann swears the cancer was truly a blessing. She is now extremely active, watches her diet and regularly attends exercise classes at Kapiolani Women’s Center.

Published on: April 29, 2016