Featured Walkers – Vicki Stoddard

Vicki Stoddard

Hilo, Hawaii

Dear WWAD,

A rush of gratitude comes with writing about Hilo, Hawaii’s Walk with a Doc program and it’s leader, Dr. Craig Kadooka. Thank you!

There are several things I’m grateful for.

Speaking personally, our WWAD weekend meeting is “a given” in my life. I look forward to it and schedule around it. There’s something very upbeat about being part of a “walking team” and showing up together whether it’s a rainy or sunny morning. I’ve also gotten to meet new very compatible people. In terms of my own health, about four years ago, I had a serious illness. I think of Walk With A Doc as a wonderful element of a “treatment plan” that seems to be working. I also bet I’m not the only participant who sees our WWAD opportunity as a highlight of the week’s aerobic exercise. The fact that Dr. Kadooka chose a beautiful location adds to the inspiration. It’s also fun!

Professionally, my background is clinical psychology and I’ve worked extensively in the mental health field. Mental health professionals now know how important aerobic exercise and social contacts are for depression, anxiety, and loneliness. Research on aerobics lowering the of risk for dementia is also promising. Dr. Kadooka’s sustaining the wonderful WWAD program in Hilo could well be broadly helping conditions mentioned above—whether lowering intensity or contributing to prevention. Walk! Each Hilo WWAD meeting also offers 10 minutes of Health Education by a doctor-in-training and/or by Dr. Kadooka. The topics are far-ranging and questions are encouraged. This also supports Hilo public health. And it’s interesting. Our WWAD also offers a brief opportunity to stretch together before walking—that seems likely helpful for most of us.

Finally, Dr. Kadooka is inspiring to me. For me, his persistent support of our town and of the WWAD program, the very intelligent and caring way he answers questions about health, and his personal candor, show how professionals should act.

Hilo’s WWAD is a wonderful gift to our community. I am also personally deeply grateful.

Vicki Stoddard

*Vicki unfortunately passed away on August 27, 2019 due to complications of a brain tumor. She continued to attend the Sunday morning walk as long as possible. She and her husband Donald were part of the original group of walkers since 2014 and among the strongest advocates of Walk with a Doc.