Maui Tribe Productions announced today that long-time entertainer Willie K has been diagnosed with limited stage small cell carcinoma localized to his upper right lung.
The 57 – year old musician was diagnosed early this year, and has begun the first of four rounds of chemotherapy, which will continue for a twelve-week period. During treatment, Willie and his family have decided to limit his performances to enable time to focus on healing and recovery.
Born Willie Kahaiali’i, Uncle Willie K has been performing at home in Hawai’i and across the world for all of his life. He has performed alongside some of the industry’s most celebrated artists, including Prince, Mick Fleetwood, Stephen Tyler, Willie Nelson, and Santana, and donated his time and personal funds to countless local, non-profit organizations over his career. With a host of awards, the eclectic artist made his mark with a brand of dynamic stage performances, and a diverse repertoire of music that span across time, language and continents.
“This has been a whirlwind experience, but with the love and support of family and friends, I’m optimistic that we will beat this, and be back on stage in no time,” said Willie K. “I also want to thank my doctor, and her team for their swift, expert action in treating me – we are lucky to have such caring health care professionals in Hawai’i, and their compassion has been a key component in this process.”
Willie’s family and friends are planning to host fundraisers on his behalf across the state to compensate for the lost income and mounting expenses of care. They remain hopeful, that the treatment plan will succeed and he will resume his schedule of performance by early summer.