Ia Orana friends and family! Please help me support Hura Tahiti Nui with their trip to San Diego. For every dollar raised for HTN, I will match a donation to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
As most of you know, two years ago I was diagnosed with major depression. Over the course of sixteen physically, mentally, and emotionally excruciating months I feared that I could never recover from symptoms of hopelessness, to the point that I had attempted to take my own life. Fortunately, I was pulled out of the darkest corners of my distress with the help of all of you (friends and family), doctors, and, notably, Tahitian dance. When I was frozen in fear and drowning in misery, dancing allowed me to freely express my emotions. When I thought that there could be no reason to live, the beat of the drums brought my heart back into rhythm. And when I felt alone, my pupu ori was always there to remind me I am loved. Participating in last year's Heiva San Diego was my way of standing up to major depression and the stigmas associated with mental illness. From that experience, I was fortunate enough to be invited to dance in Tahiti with the group Hura Tahiti Nui, under the direction of Stelio and Caroline Tairio this summer. Dancing in the Heiva i Tahiti was a celebration of my connection to, and adoration for, Tahitian culture. It was my tribute to the family, friends, and traditions that saved my life and motivated me to battle my illness. I know that the past month would not have been the humbling, hornorable, and empowering experience that it was without my host family-- Uncle Stellio and Auntie Caroline, and the amazing group, Hura Tahiti Nui.
So, please help me sponsor their non-profit trip in August to perform at the Heiva San Diego Gala Dinner (in which proceeds will benefit the Rady Children's Hospital). *Please note that this personal fundraiser is not directly affilitated with Heiva San Diego, Rady Children's Hospital, or the American Founation for Suicide Prevention