Kanani Tolentino, CPhT
Interesting Fact about Kanani:
Kanani was born on the island of Oahu, raised on the island of Lanai with a population of just over 3000 people. This island is known as the “pineapple isle” due to it once being the home of the pineapple plantation of entrepreneur James Dole.
A Pharmacy Hero in “Sin City”
Kanani is currently a Certified Pharmacy Technician who has been serving Las Vegas residents since 2018. Prior to her moving to Las Vegas in 2017 from what is known as the “9th Island”, she was spending some of her time helping to take care of the locals and Kupuna (Hawaiian term meaning elder, grandparent or an older person) at the first ever full-service pharmacy which opened in 2014 in Lanai City, Hawaii.
The medical field has always held a large place in her heart due to her being diagnosed with Severe Plastic Anemia, a rare blood disease back in 2004. With her first bone-marrow transplant failing, her second took place in 2005. On May 31, 2020, it made 15 years of remission with the help of her younger brother being an identical match and helping to save her life.
She loves to spend time with her family and friends, travel, and play around with photography. Also, she enjoys being the mother to a little Chihuahua named Pawpi.
Q: How does Kanani feel about being an essential worker during COVID-19?
Kanani: COVID-19 has shown me how it has such a huge impact on society as a whole. The pharmacy that I work at is a part of the Kroger chain of grocery stores, and I witness the impact of the pandemic and how it has affected people almost every day. It has shown me the good and the bad. But, most importantly it has shown me how strong we can be by coming together for the better for each other.
Despite the negativity that most are focused on and has overwhelmed us all, the positivity is most important. I live with my grand-mother who is 97 years old and besides the fact that I have to be extra cautious about everything, I have learned to see how important certain people and simple daily things are in life. We often forget how important people are or the things that we do have until they are gone.
Overall, I see this pandemic as a lesson and a wake up call to simply take the time and care for each other.