National News

Waimanalo teacher helps cancer patient's dream come true

Posted April 28, 2018 11:55 a.m. EDT

— Doctors said 49-year-old Brad Anderson, a middle school woodshop teacher only has nine months to live after diagnosing him with cancer.

He's in Idaho and a local teacher in Waimanalo is making his dying wish come true.

"It's difficult on my family and on my wife to think about having to be here without me," Brad Anderson, whose wish granted to come to Hawaii said.

Sinus cancer spread to Anderson's brain and it has taken its toll. It already diminished his sense of smell and part of his hearing. But he's counting his blessings, wanting to spend some of his final days with his family in the Aloha State.

"Hawaii is magical. The people there are amazing and the scenery is amazing… Just a place for your cares to go away," Anderson said.

The dream foundation, a California based organization, grants dreams for adults suffering life-threatening illness. It has secured funds to fly Anderson, his wife and daughter to Oahu.

The Andersons traveled to Hawaii 10 years ago. He wants to rekindle those special moments.

"Just looking back, they were wonderful memories and so I wanted to relive those wonderful memories," Anderson said.

It'll be his 16-year-old daughter's first trip to the islands, he hopes she'll get to swim with dolphins.

Connected by their love for teaching, Josiah Akau was impacted by Anderson's story after stumbling across it on social media.

"That's what we have in common, we both want to help the youth become better… Just doing the Hawaiian thing - Aloha forward, we call that," Akau said.

He'll host Anderson's family at his Kailua home. Akau hopes Anderson can stop by the school to speak with students.

With just two weeks left until his dream vacation, Anderson says when the end eventually draws near, it's their faith that will give them strength.

"We'll be apart for a little while but we will be together again," Anderson said.