City Council Honors Local Heroes

13 02 2015

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Brothers and former NFL players, Ma‘ake and Chris Kemoeatu made national news last summer when Ma’ake chose to effectively end his professional football career to donate his kidney to his younger brother Chris whose own professional football career was cut short when he was diagnosed with a form of kidney disease. Being the oldest of seven, Ma‘ake always felt a responsibility to take care of his younger brothers and sisters. “If my brother or any of my siblings needed blood, they have to have my blood. If any of my siblings needed a kidney, it would have to be my kidney,” he said on national television during an interview just weeks after the successful transplant surgery. The nation took notice of the love and sacrifice of one brother for the other and the strong ties of the Kemoeatu family as they supported each other through the stressful ordeal.

The Kemoeatu brothers have fully recovered and recently returned home to Hawaii to enjoy time with family and friends after missing countless holidays and family events during their successful careers with the NFL. Both Ma‘ake and Chris played for the Kahuku High School Red Raiders and went on to play collegiate football for the University of Utah Utes. After college, Ma‘ake played for the Baltimore Ravens, the Carolina Panthers, and the Washington Redskins before returning to the Baltimore Ravens in 2012 and helping the team to win Super Bowl 47 (XLVII). After college, Chris played for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 2005 until 2011. During that time, he helped secure two Super Bowl Championships for the Steelers in Super Bowl 40 (XL) and Super Bowl 43 (XLIII).

Looking to use their experience and talents to make life better for others, Ma‘ake and Chris founded the Kemoeatu Brothers Foundation, a non-profit organization that works to help Hawaii’s underprivileged children in their educational, physical, and social development. The organization hosts sports camps, toy drives and fundraising events. The Foundation creates celebrity meeting opportunities, creates scholarships for its program participants and partners with other non-profit organizations to assist them in reaching their goals. The Kemoeatu Brothers also founded Pacific Elite Sports Fitness Center, a company dedicated to helping individuals of all ages and ability levels to maximize their athletic potential.

Family photo with Council

At the January 28th meeting of the Honolulu City Council, I was pleased to honor the Kemoeatu brothers and their family with an Honorary Certificate in recognition of their athletic achievements and humanitarian accomplishments. They are local heroes who exemplify the spirit of ohana and have shown the next generation what can be accomplished through hard work, sacrifice and brotherly love.

 

 


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