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Prayers from afar help buoy Borges

By Ben Wood

LAST UPDATED: 2:25 p.m. HST, Aug 5, 2011

JIMMY BORGES has been diagnosed with liver cancer. But Hawaii's top jazz-pops singer is not taking it lying down. He is determined to beat the illness. Jimmy, 76, who made several appearances on the original "Hawaii Five-0," was found to have cancer April 21 after taking a routine X-ray. He let it be known that he was suffering from a serious illness and would like prayers but did not identify the illness publicly. He has been treated with chemotherapy, which has slowed him down, and doctors will decide what to do next in about a month. Jimmy says there will be surgery involved. It will not be a transplant because he is too old, he said. But he added that his pal Jim Nabors, 81, who had a liver transplant in 1994 and is going strong, gives him much encouragement and says liver cancer can be beat. Jimmy says his wife, Vicki, is taking great care of him. "There seems to be too much misinformation floating around so if you want to print anything about my cancer, that's OK with me," Jimmy said late last week. "I do want to thank with all my heart the many people who are sending prayers and good thoughts my way. They're coming in even from Europe, Asia and South Africa. Music has a wide fraternity, I'm finding." ...

DENMARK'S HAWAII honorary consul Claus Hansen and his wife, Halekulani PR director Diane Ako, traveled to Washington, D.C., last week to meet Denmark's Queen Margrethe II and Prince Henrik. The main event was a three-hour formal dinner June 8 for 31 consuls and honorary consuls in the United States. Claus and Diane were one of 10 consuls and spouses selected to have one-on-one time with the queen. Claus was born and raised in Denmark and moved to Hawaii in 1986 to attend the University of Hawaii on a swimming scholarship. He and Diane were married in 2001 and have a daughter, Olivia, age 4. ...

IT'S NOW CALLED the "Hawaii International Film Festival Presented by Halekulani" because the festival has signed a multi-year presenting sponsorship agreement with Halekulani Corp. Festival exec director Chuck Boller made the announcement. This year's fest is slated for Oct. 13 to 23. ...

ISLE KATHY MULLER Agency model Genevieve Rokero was featured in the May issue of Seventeen Magazine. After modeling in Paris, Milan, London and Miami, Genevieve is now living in NYC. Other Muller models modeling on the mainland or internationally are: Olivia Zimmerman, with Elite in NYC; Cassidy Alexei, Ford-NYC; Justine Godfrey, Elite-LA; Courtney Arndt, Next-LA; Kate Schuette, Wilhelmina-LA; Deanna Elerick, Hong Kong and Thailand; Krista Alvarez, Hong Kong; and Lauren Rhoden and Tamiko Hobbs, both in Tokyo. ...

Ben Wood, who sold the Star-Bulletin on Honolulu streets in World War II, writes of people, places and things. Email him at

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