To his family, Kekoa is a son, brother, nephew, cousin, and uncle who has put them above all else. To his friends, he is always willing to lend an ear, share his food, shamelessly belt out a Spice Girls tune, or crack and inapproriate joke to lighten their day. To his coworkers he is a compassionate and charismatic leader who nurtures the personal and professional growth of his team and anyone he works with. Even those who have never met him light up when he comes up in conversation. At a team outing, I asked someone who had only ever worked with him remotely to tell me about a famed incident involving Jimmy John's and a bouquet of flowers. Her face lit up as soon as I said it, and the first words our of her mouth were "Oh, my beautiful little Kekoa." To everyone who knows him or knows of him, he is a ray of sunshine, a ready smile, and a gentle, generous soul.
In June 2017, Kekoa learned that after 16 years of battling this terrible disease, he would find himself facing his demon once again. Unlike the last seven rounds, it has come back more aggresive and advanced than ever before. This time, his survival hinges on a specialized team based an ocean and a continent away. The cost of travelling 4,300 miles for quality medical care, accommodations, transportation, and sustenenace were unanticipated prior to his rediagnosis. Kekoa also faces months of copays and out-of-pocket medical expenses for surgeries, supplies, and medication. Though he had money set aside, he has been told he may be on medical leave for up to a year and finds himself in a precarious financial situation.
While travelling to Indiana for his treatment and surgeries, the car that held his belongings was broken in to. A backpack containing his laptop, 16 years of medical records and scans, the legendary hoodie "Storm," various electronics, and several other items of sentimental value was stolen. These items and the broken window are replaceable, but the additional coston top of everything else, isn't something that was anticipated.
Kekoa is the kind of man who gives his time, resources, and energy selflessly and without reservation. As he's helped so many of us in the past, he now needs us more than ever. We are asking for assistance in covering part of the costs for Kekoa's cancer treatment, travel and living expenses to access this treatment, and the replacement of his stolen belongings. It is so important to us to lessen the stress he faces while fighting for his life and focusing on recovery. Any amount is appreciated; and for anyone who lends their voice to raise awareness we have the greatest love, humility, and gratitude.
From Kekoa's family, friends, and coworkers whose lives are made much more complete by his presense in our world, thank you.
- Keshona Lawrence
- Kelly & Michael Perez
- Mariko Delanoza
- Jodie Thompson
- Nevin Bruce
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