Christa Wittmier, Super CW
For years, Christa Wittmier has been a pillar in Hawai‘i’s art, music and nightlife scenes. “I’ve been a storyteller since I moved here,” says Wittmier, who originally made a name for herself in Honolulu as a nightlife blogger. Whereas some storytellers merely retell occurrences, Wittmier is helping write the story.
As senior marketing director at Young’s Market Company and a DJ spinning under the moniker Super CW, Wittmier has been involved in some of Honolulu’s biggest, hippest bashes and is one of the most unique and recognizable voices in the local nightlife community. She’s also been busy supporting a slew of local nonprofits and sowing the seeds of community initiatives like Pow! Wow! Hawaii.
For Wittmier, creating change starts with passion. “If you are truly working hard towards your vision and not thinking about making money, the money will come,” she says. “But it has to come from the heart. It has to have a positive impact on others, not just make you rich.”
This passion was ignited further when Wittmier was diagnosed with cancer in the spring of 2015. The cancer returned last year after a promising round of treatment sent her temporarily into remission. “At the end of 2016, I stepped away from everything I was working on to get and stay healthy,” Wittmier says. “The prognosis for breast cancer [isn’t good] once it has spread to the brain, so I want to make sure what I’m doing will have an impact or leave a legacy.”
In light of her health struggles, Wittmier is more determined than ever to make her time count, especially when it comes to projects she holds close to her heart. She’s still spinning at select gigs, but now Wittmier’s agenda includes sharing her story and building community through the Aloha Cancer Project, a charitable organization she co-founded to help people with cancer adapt to their new circumstances. She’s given public talks about her illness at venues such as Kuakini Medical Center and Wanderlust O‘ahu and has even authored a guide for recently diagnosed cancer patients.
“The more I do this, the easier it gets, and the more powerful my delivery is for the people in the room,” Wittmier says. “It’s an incredible feeling, to see that you’re moving people to tears and helping them overcome something they are dealing with. The Q&A after, the hugs and personal stories fill my heart with so much love and purpose.”
Wittmier’s biggest project to date is the ambitious documentary Invisible Illness, which she started shooting in 2015. Through the generosity of local filmmakers who rallied together to support her, the film is currently in post-production and awaiting funding from the right investor. “The film tells the story of a woman who might appear a bit larger than life,” Wittmier says. “Using over 40 interviews from all types of people in the community, as well as my doctors and close friends, we will show all of the events, community projects and [initiatives I’ve been involved in both] pre- and post-diagnosis, and the integrative approach I took to fight [my illness].”
The film explores how Wittmier’s mind-body connection spurred her healing processes and explores the rollercoaster of emotions she’s faced along the way. “It wasn’t something I wanted to share then, as I knew how many people were watching,” Wittmier says. “But now that I’ve gotten through both the initial late-stage diagnosis and the recurrence, there’s nothing I want to hold back. It’s going to be very revealing.”
“My role in the community has mostly been the mouthpiece,” Wittmier says. “By sharing my journey, I want to give hope to others that it’s possible to get through.”