Community hero honored at Equality Run
by Robin Dorner
Editor in Chief
Before becoming ill, Shaun Kamiko’s favorite thing to do was run outdoors with his husband, Allan Hernandez. Their most memorable run together was the Freedom Oklahoma Equality Run in 2014, where they crossed the finish line hand in hand.
Sadly, Kamiko lost his courageous battle with lymphoma in November of last year.
“I can still picture in my mind smiling, talking and laughing with him after that run,” said Marlo Miller, Equality Run organizer and Freedom Oklahoma board member. “Freedom Oklahoma is committed to making this memory an eternal one for Shaun.”
Kamiko was known to many in the Oklahoma City area as the iconic “DJ Kamiko”. He had a great passion and love for music, life, people, the LGBTQ community…and animals. This year’s run will celebrate the memory of Shaun Kamiko.
Miller went to high school with Kamiko and said because of that, this is an especially meaningful event to her personally. “If I can preserve his memory, and help his family and friends to heal even the slightest bit more, I will consider it a huge success.”
She also said the Equality Run celebrates diversity at a healthy event, with an inclusive family environment. “It brings together all communities for the commonality of running/walking, supporting great causes and supporting each other without question of anything else.”
This is the fifth annual Equality Run in OKC; Miller has been involved since the second year of the run. She said every year the number of participants grows and organizers add more perks and amazing swag, making it an unforgettable experience.
Portions of proceeds from artwork this year have been created by local artist, Saumo Puapuaga, in tribute to Shaun. “It’s truly powerful,” said Puapuaga, “The Head is a Koru design, which Shaun enjoyed, representing a new beginning, faith, peace and growth. The triangle motif, a tattoo Shaun had, reflects the pride of his Hawaiian heritage. Triangles signify shark teeth - power, shelter, guidance.”
To add competition (as if there wasn’t already enough), there will be a peer to peer fundraising option at registration. Start a team or join one when you get to the run – five percent of these proceeds will go to support Other Options, an OKC AIDS Service Organization. “Other Options was a cause near and dear to Shaun,” added Miller.
This year’s Equality Run will be Saturday, June 17 at 8 a.m. at the Myriad Gardens. There are 5K, 10K, 1 mile Fun Run and Sleep-In-And-Still-Get-A-Shirt options available. Register at bit.ly/gayly26. The discount code KAMIKO will get $5 off any registration selection.
“We will also be having the post-run brunch on the Flint patio again this year,” Miller said in conclusion. “The food and atmosphere are amazing and a great way to celebrate with fellow participants, friends and loved ones.”
This is how we win!
Freedom Oklahoma is Oklahoma's statewide LGBTQ advocacy organization and a proud member of the Equality Federation. Freedom Oklahoma is the unified organization resulting from the merger of The Equality Network, a 501 (c) (4) organization that lobbied for pro-equality legislation and public policies; and the Cimarron Alliance Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) organization that engaged in public education in support of the LGBTQ community.
Copyright The Gayly - 5/14/2017 @ 12:08 p.m. CST. All rights reserved.