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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, September 28, 2007

A basket of range balls and a message of hope

 •  Lucky charm

By Mike Gordon
Advertiser Staff Writer

Mortality was on his mind the morning Chris Pablo went to the Ko'olau Golf Club driving range. Only a few months into his battle with chronic myelogenous leukemia, he hit balls and pondered his chances of survival.

Lining up a shot, he stopped short of driving his frustrations into a weathered Spalding. It was stamped with two words that momentarily left Pablo breathless:


He kept the ball, often carrying it in his pocket when he went to work, the doctor's office or bone marrow donor rallies. Then and now, it has seemed more than a simple lucky charm.

"It is still a very powerful tool," Pablo said. "It is a messenger."

At a recent dinner at which he was a speaker, Pablo waited his turn at a table with several strangers. He showed them the golf ball.

"I said, 'I have to speak and I am nervous, and I always have this in my pocket when I speak, so let me tell you this story'," he said. "I don't know if stunned is the word. The folks who looked at it, they just went, 'Wow.' "

Reach Mike Gordon at mgordon@honoluluadvertiser.com.