Oct 6: Dr. Ryder Onopa Blood Drive

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October 6th, 2017

10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

The family of the late Ryder Onopa, MD, has consented to the naming of a blood drive to be held at the University of Hawai’i medical school in honor of 2014 MD Ryder Onopa, who died of cancer during his third year of Residency Training in Internal Medicine at the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM).

Ryder was a generous, compassionate young man who touched many lives through his years at JABSOM as well as during his work with patients under the guidance of Internist Dr. Dee-Ann Carpenter (JABSOM MD 1993). He aspired to become a specialist in Palliative Care, for patients with serious, and often terminal disease. Ryder was a second-generation JABSOM graduate. His mother, Dr. Janet Onopa is a alumna of the JABSOM MD Class of 1983.

During his last weeks, Ryder shared the tragic news of his prognosis, but as ever, he added to it some lightness, and overarching concern for others.

His post directed people to take time out to savor special moments in their own lives, and he also asked those who could to donate blood. His words inspired the upcoming Dr. Ryder Onopa Blood Drive:

“But hey, I’m still here, so no rush to high emotions. If anything, do me a favor…Watch a sunset. Photograph something beautiful. Post something unexpected. Hug your lover. Hug a stranger. Offer to help someone. Donate blood. Let’s just all be grateful, hey?”

— Ryder, on Facebook, July 30, 2017.

The blood drive is at the JABSOM campus (651 Ilalo Street in Kaka’ako) on Friday, October 6, 2017, from 10:00 a.m. until 3 p.m. For an appointment, contact student organizer Gavin Ha at gavinha@hawaii.edu, or contact the Blood Bank of Hawai’i to schedule an appointment on-line or by telephone.

Read our story about Ryder from last month: “The healer faces death with grace, at 30”

Ryder’s 2017 Essay about humanism in medicine is published in the September 2017 edition of the Hawai’i Journal of Medicine and Public Health.
Read Ryder’s Essay