South Delta Baptist Church was packed with friends and family, some of whom spoke of a fearless, adventurous and funny young man who loved riding his bike, snowboarding and soccer. To them, he was also just a boy who loved his pet cat, Andrew, that slept on his chest every night.
“He was a strong kid. I gotta say, all the treatments he had, he didn’t say no. He said bring it. He wanted to live and he drove his mom and me through the end there," said Ross McConkey Kyle's father.
'He was a fighter'
Trish Duggan, one of his high school teachers, said that after his diagnosis at age 16, Kyle "always remained stoic, never outwardly showing fear."
His oncologist, Dr. Kirk Schultz also talked of Kyle's strength.
“The thing about Kyle was, he was a fighter," Schultz said. "And even more important, that he would fight it Kyle’s way.”
People touched by Kyle's story donated a total of $282,124 into a fund to pay for experimental cancer treatment in Seattle. The cancer, and related infections, moved too quickly for that treatment to happen. The family says they plan to set up a foundation to donate those funds to other families struggling with cancer.
“Kyle’s spirit will live on in our memories," said Ross McConkey. We’re so fortunate to have had those 18 years with such a remarkable young man.”