Fans, Loved Ones Raising Funds for Willie K Cancer Treatment

February 26, 2018, 2:50 PM HST · Updated February 26, 2:53 PM
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Willie K. Courtesy photo Maui Arts & Cultural Center.

Popular Hawaiian entertainer Uncle Willie K, born Willie Kahaialiʻi of Lahaina, was diagnosed with small cell carcinoma lung cancer earlier this year. After being diagnosed, the award-winning artist put his performances on hold.

Friends and family say Willie K has gone through his first round of chemotherapy and has been “blessed to have only some side effects,” adding that he has three more rounds of chemotherapy and is currently under a 15-day, twice a day round of radiation.

On Feb. 15, 2018, family members created a GoFundMe account to help assist the performer during his rounds of treatment, scheduled to last through March 14, 2018, and for his recovery time.

Family members say that although he’s the owner of his production company, Maui Tribe Production, being a full-time musician was Willie K’s main source of income. “He performs almost everyday with multiple events at different venues throughout the world,” family members wrote on the page. “Entertaining is Willie’s only source of income. That will all be put on hold after Feb. 17, 2018.”

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As of publishing, the GoFundMe account has raised $14,270 of its $100,000 goal, with support and prayers from as far away as Japan, New Zealand, Canada, and Minneapolis.

Family members stated that although small cell carcinoma lung cancer is a very aggressive cancer, the Maui-native is “very positive and optimistic about his condition and recovery.”

“We appreciate anything you may offer whether financially or spiritually; if you can or cannot donate we always appreciate your prayers of strength and healing,” family members wrote on the page.

Willie K has won several Nā Hōkū Hanohano awards, most recently in 2012 for winning Rock Album of the Year for “Warehouse Blues.” He has also been nominated for a Grammy. He’s known for performing several styles of music, ranging from Hawaiian to rock to blues to opera.

To donate to the Willie K cancer fund, click here.


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