Looking for a dune buggy to fulfill man’s dying wish

CIRA de CASTILLOTGI Staff Writer

LIHU’E — Rick and Terri Echternacht, visitors from Austin, Tex., are living

life to the fullest despite the disease that is threatening to claim Rick’s

life.

They’ll be leaving the island Tuesday evening, but before they go

Rick has one wish. He wants to ride along the beach in a dune buggy, feel the

air, smell the ocean and see the horizon from a different vantage

point.

That doesn’t seem too much to ask, but the couple is still looking

for a vehicle. Anyone able to help Rick is asked to call the Holiday Inn at

823-6000, ext. 1215.

The couple married last November. Nine days later they

learned that Rick has a rapidly spreading form of brain cancer.

The tumor

has limited his speech and restricted his ability to get around without a

wheelchair, but his sense of humor and deep affection for his wife is as

strong as ever.

Terri said that traveling around the island in a wheelchair

has presented many challenges but they enjoy Poi’pu Beach and Lydgate Park

which are ADA accessible. Rick snorkeled at Lydgate using equipment donated by

Snorkel Bob’s and was happy to get a chance to be in the ocean, one of his last

wishes, his wife said.

Terri said they have been touched by the compassion

and spirit of the people of Kaua’i, like Ron Willey of KONG radio who put

Rick’s wish for a beach ride on his morning radio show.

Whatever happens,

Terri said, they will leave Kaua’i filled with aloha and cherished memories

of a very special honeymoon.

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