Entertainment Reporter Billy V went to Maui to interview Willie K. They met as Willie was making his presence known on the island of Oahu prior to the release of his first CD "Kahaiali'i."
MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) -- I would describe Willie K. as intense.There is no other way about him. He is intense in whatever he does. In all the years I've known him, there is no other mode. He tackles life that way. He is intense about his music. He is truly intense about his family. Now, he is intense about cancer.
The Na Hoku Hanohano Award-winning recording artist has been diagnosed with small cell carcinoma, which is a highly malignant cancer.
Willie's team of doctors at Kaiser Permanente have put together a plan of action.
Willie said, "It's like as soon as he found this out, he goes, 'I'm expediting everything for you, Willie, because we can catch this real quick.' I guess that was his intention, and he did. We caught it. Small cell carcinoma, which is a very aggressive type of small cell cancer. It spreads quick."
Willie K. has already gone through one treatment of chemotherapy, and he has three more treatments to go. But on the next treatments, radiation will be added to the mix.
What has been hard for Willie: He has spent much of his life giving back to kids, kupuna, taking care of others. He says, "It's hard to be the one in need, you know when you're the one that's always taking care of everybody else. I don't know how to deal with that. That's the one thing that's bugging the hell out of me."
Willie and his wife, Debbie, look strong as they talk story, but occasionally the tone softens.
Willie says he just tells family, "Stop thinking about stuff like that. That's not how it works. Positive thinking don't make you go drifting off. You see what the next step is, then you just keep marching man"
This is only the beginning of the journey for Willie in his fight against cancer.
He has three more treatments still to come. The first one involved chemotherapy, the next three will include radiation. There will be checks and tests along the way.
Willie won't go through it alone, though. He's got family surrounding him, friends are calling and constantly checking in. There are many in the entertainment world that are calling and gathering to play music and raise money for his upcoming treatments and to help pay for costs. Unlike most musicians that have other sources of income, Willie K. is a full-time musician.
Cha Thompson is coordinating the fundraiser on the island of Oahu. Details are pending. But when it does happen, it will be a celebration of the journey that is still happening for Willie K.