You might know him for his amazing ability to play an ukulele behind his head, between his legs and with his teeth. Some are in awe over his impersonation of Louis Armstrong and many know him because of his U.S. Olympian daughter, former U.H. Wahine soccer star Natasha Kai. Benny Kai, the loveable entertainer, is best known as "Uncle Benny".
After more than 30 years of entertaining thousands in Hawaii and at the Polynesian Cultural Center, the proud father and grandfather from Kahuku is taking a break after collapsing on stage last year.
"When they x-rayed my back during a cat scan, they found a tumor around my spine which was the size of a racquet ball."
Uncle Benny is now raising awareness of the cancer is he trying to beat.
"I have a rare type of lymphoma cancer," said Kai. "Lymphoma deals with the cancer in the blood. So, it can travel anywhere."
Doctors say the only possible cure is a stem cell transplant.
"It almost ruined my will to live, but I always thought about my music, said Kai.
In between treatments, Kai brought out his ukulele to hold impromptu concerts at the Queen's Medical Center.
"I would tell my nurse to take me to a cancer patient, my neighbor or my roommate, so that I could sing to them. As a patient, I was singing to the other patients," said Kai.
Always giving so much aloha to others, Uncle Benny's family, fans and friends now want to help him get the potentially life-saving treatment he needs.
"When I saw just the tidal waves of love and people just helping I was just blown away," said Kai. "I cry because I am so grateful for the love. In Hawaii, we may live on an island, but yet our hearts are as big as the island."
Organizers have put together a 5K fun run on Saturday May 24th at Laie Park from 9 - 10 a.m. And a kokua concert is being held on May 31st from 9 a.m. to noon at the Polynesian Cultural Center.
Those who wish to help fund his needed stem cell transplant may make a monetary donation to the friends of Benny Kai fund, at their local Bank of Hawaii branch, under the account number: (808) 985-51476