In loving memory of Riley Culley
My sweet son fought long and hard to give his family and friends each day he was here, and each one was a gift. Riley now fights in our behalf without being seen, only felt. My heart is so full, as well as broken, as I once again am faced with the awareness that having this be a tribute to Riley is acknowledging he beat me to heaven.
I love my dear son and miss him more than words can begin to describe, but for him, and because of him, and with his continued help, I will live like Riley and help those who are suffering.
I hate cancer. I wish I could take it away, but since I cannot, I will do what I can to soften the painful wake it leaves behind.
We also remember and love the following individuals:
- Dani Madsen
- Amber Briggs
- Eli Augustine
- Brandy Mitchell
Families we’ve served
Mason is an amazing 10-year-old boy. He loves anything outdoors and being with his family.
At the beginning of August 2021 he started having cold-like symptoms that never seemed to get better, by the 23rd of August, when Mason did not seem to be healing, he was taken to the pediatrician, where he was diagnosed with a sinus infection and given antibiotics.
By August 27th Mason’s mom noticed that his neck was very swollen. His lymph nodes were massive. His parents took him to Primary Children’s Hospital for a second opinion. In less than 24 hours, after many tests and a biopsy, it was determined that sweet Mason had T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Lymphoma. The very next day Mason went in for surgery to have a port placed in his chest so he could immediately begin treatment.
The Allred’s world was turned upside down. Mason will be in treatment and receiving chemo for 3-4 years. This is a very aggressive cancer. Mason has just entered phase 2 of Chemo, which is thankfully all outpatient. He has 3-4 more phases to go before he begins the maintenance phase.
On top of this, the Allred’s are temporarily living in the basement of a family member while their new home in Tooele is completed.
Sharon Fraser was diagnosed at age 31 with stage 3 grade 3 triple positive breast cancer in April 2021. After learning she holds no genetic markers for breast cancer, it’s easy to ask “why me?” She quickly realized “why not me?”
Cancer is unfair. It doesn’t care that Sharon has 3 young children. It doesn’t care that she was in the middle of a very difficult semester at Weber University.
Since her diagnosis in April, treatment has moved very quickly, because her type of breast cancer is considered highly aggressive.
Sharon finished a very difficult summer of strong chemo that took all her hair and aged her significantly. Within 1 month of finishing the aggressive chemo it was time for a bilateral mastectomy. This amputation surgery is intense, but she managed the pain well. What Sharron didn’t expect was the emotional and phycological pain. Looking in the mirror and realizing that she had lost feminity along with the loss of her hair and breasts was very depressing, to say the least.
Sharon is currently in the middle of the recommended 25 rounds of radiation. And back on infusions of a small dose of chemo every 21 days. She will continue infusions until July 2022.
Sharon and her familty will spend over a year aggressively fighting this disease, and 5-10 years after that she will experience medically induced menopause.
Sharon is very positive and hopeful, with lots of faith in her doctors to make sure she can see her sweet babies grow up.
Sharon said, “My kids have been my best medicine. They cuddle me when I’m too sick to move and make me laugh when the future feels too dark. I’m infinitely grateful to the many members of my family and friends who have helped me through these last 7 months. God continues to be a light of hope for me. I’m looking forward to feeling better soon and spending lots of time with my kids having fun and being an example of bravery.”
Paysley is 13 years old and was born with a congenital heart defect called Hypoplastic Right Heart syndrome, (she only has half a heart) and heterotaxy syndrome.
Less than a year ago, at age 12, she was given the diagnosis of Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Paysley’s family knew cancer was going to be hard, but said that “Paysley is the strongest girl we know so we know she can handle it”.
Paysley is 3 months cancer free! But the aftermath left in the wake of cancer treatment is wreaking havoc on her already delicate body. The Booth family is praying hard and supporting Paysley as they work with her doctors to get her body strong enough to possibly receive a heart transplant.
The past 7 months have been the hardest and scariest days of this families lives, but they feel they have only become a stronger family because of it.
After 6 months of intense migraines, lots of appontments, several scans, 2 brain surgeries & multiple biopsies, Ashlyn was diagnosed with a grade 4 astrocytoma, a form of brain cancer.
As counterintuitive as it may seem, Ashlyn & Brycen are not in the mindset of fighting this cancer. They genuinely have a great love for this experience and all the healing, vision and hope it is bringing to them, their families and all those they love. They are so grateful for all those who have, and continue to serve and support them.
Ashlyn feels strongly that this is not happening TO her, but rather is happening FOR her. As her and her dear husband seek for the “WHY” in all their ups and downs, it helps to dissolve fears and anxieties.
Ashlyn says, “Purpose is captivating, filling us with love and peace. That is what I wish for each of you this holiday season, and in your journeys in life. We have experienced many miracles, and know they will continue. We feel God is preparing us to help with healing of all kinds in this world, and have started a foundation called Behold with the goal of reaching as many people as we are able to through our lives.”
When Kristi was a little girl her parents noticed a brown spot in her right iris – the colored part of her eye. The doctors told them it was just a freckle and not to worry about it. In 2009 her eye doctor asked if she was aware of a tumor in her eye. After many tests, images, having her case presented at grand rounds to dozens of doctors, she was refered to see a specialist in Philadelphia. Those doctors also told her the lesion was likely just a freckle.
Fast forward to 2013 when Kristi was 24 and pregnant with her first son, the lesion in her eye started bleeding, forming a painful blood clot in her eye. Kristi went back to Philadelphia to ask the specialists to remove the lesion. She was shocked and surprised when the specialists in Philadelphia told her the lesion had changed from a freckle to a type of cancer called amelanotic uveal melanoma.
Kristi had successful plaque radiation treatment and was told to monitor for metastasis every 6 months. This type of cancer is rare, especially for someone her age, and is never considered to be “in remission” – so we do a chest x ray and blood work every 6 months and an MRI once a year.
In September this year, an MRI showed a spot on Kristi’s spleen. They were very concerned about this spot, as cancer in the spleen has a very poor prognosis. An hour before her surgery was scheduled, a few more specialists looked at her scans and questioned whether the spot was cancer.
An MRI will be repeated the begining of December. The Price’s are hopeful that they will witness a miracle and the spot will be gone.
The Millers bought their house in Murray in April 2003. All of their children have been born there, starting in 2006. As their children have grown and more siblings came along, they contemplated moving but they love the Murray area and have always loved the neighborhood, schools and surrounding amenities and so they decided to add onto the home rather than move. In 2019 they began a huge undertaking to extend the back of the house as well as add an additional floor on top. They removed the old roof, tore out the back wall and dug a basement addition. Jon has been working on the addition as time and funds are available. The work has also been slow due to the building boom in Utah, the increase cost in building materials and the wait times for subcontractors.
On October 12th, their youngest son Timothy, who is 4, was diagnosed with T-cell Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia. He was admitted immediately into Primary Children’s Hospital to start treatment. He has completed 29 days of treatment and seems to be responding well.
Timmy has 4 older siblings; 2 sisters and 2 brothers. When he finally was able to come home for a couple days, they were able to get smiles and laughs. His siblings are very protective of him.
The Millers are overwhelmed with the news of their sweet boy and realize the importance of spending time as a family rather than having to worry about working long hours on their home to make it a safe and healing place for their beautiful family.
Eli, “The Boss”, is an adventurous young man with an old soul, 8 brothers and sisters and parents who love him deeply. His default birthday and Christmas gift is a roll of duct tape and he wants to be an inventor when he grows up. If the TSA had searched his suitcase when the family went through security for a recent trip to Florida, they would have found a coconut, duct tape, and paracord (he wanted to bring a shovel too) but his loving mother was pretty sure it wouldn’t have made it through security.
Eli was diagnosed with Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma at age 10. In September of 2018 Eli noticed a bump that turned out to be a swollen lymph node. It wasn’t until October 30, 2018 that a biopsy confirmed the diagnosis. Eli was stage IV, with tumors in his left foot and calf with metastases to his lymph nodes behind his knee and in the left pelvic region. This put his five year survival rate at 10-30%. After 42 weeks of chemo and radiation with a few side effects there were hopeful signs that Eli had beaten the odds and family life began to feel a bit more normal again, the family worked to return to a more regular routine.
On May 4th 2020 Eli got his port out and noticed the recurrence of a lump in his arm. Scans confirmed the cancer had returned in his left foot and thigh, and right arm. Because it had jumped to a completely different location so soon after treatment, and because of the aggressive form of this cancer, the family were told in no uncertain terms that Eli’s time was limited and there was no longer any hope of a cure. The cruel reality was learned that death occurs within 2-12 months of recurrence in 95% of cases like Eli’s with a median survival of 9 months. It was 5 1/2 months ago, May 27, 2020, when this devastaing news was revealed to the family.
Eli is currently taking a medication that has shrunk his tumors and it seems to be keeping cancer at bay… for now. He has also had radiation to a few of his tumors to maintain his quality of life. The family has spent these last several months trying to fit as much living as possible in the short amount of time they have left with him.
Knowing the cancer was likely to return, the family booked a camping spot on the beach 6 months in advance and were able to enjoy that experience on July 15th of this year. Eli continues to make plans for next summer and recently shared plans for what he wants to do for Halloween next year. He knows the expected outcome of his cancer, but his main concern is for how his family will feel when he dies and says he has “made [his] peace with [his] fate” His mother tenderly expresses that she doesn’t think she has made peace with it, but endeavors to be the mom he needs at this time and places trust in God’s plan that their family will be together in the eternities, even though time here together may be cut short for now.
Rachel and her baby girl, Harper, lost their husband, father, and sole provider to a tragic car accident in September 2022. Rachel now has to face being the sole caretaker to Harper, who has a serious heart condition and is in and out of Primary Children’s Hospital. With another baby on the way, Rachel needs any kindness and help we can offer.
Amy is a 47-year-old single mother who has experienced incredible loss in her lifetime. Due to domestic violence and drug use back in 2005, she lost 9 of her children to DCFS removal. Amy finally cleaned up her life through inpatient drug rehabilitation. She has successfully kept her 11-year-old twin daughters (Brooklyn and Brailyn) and is raising them alone. Amy was diagnosed this past year with cervical cancer that has spread to other parts of her body. She received aggressive treatment this past summer/fall giving her additional complications and pain. She is too sick to return to work and does not have much support from her family.
Meet the Tate’s! This is a family with 5 kids. The youngest are 6 year old twins. In September one of the twins was having terrible headaches which started a handful of doctor appointments and hospital visits.
After a C.T Scan and a confirming MRI she was diagnosed with a High Grade Glioma brain tumor.
This news continues to be unbearable and devastating for all of them as they continue to face fears of the unknown for their daughter and for their family. She has spent weeks in the amazing care of Primary Children’s Hospital and is now home with her family as they continue to hope and pray for miracles.
Our goal is to help finish some home remodeling that was in the works to provide them with a magical Christmas together.
Greta is spunky and silly and is such a social girl. She adores her family and loves being around her siblings, her friends and her cousins. She loves to play with her dolls and loves to dance and cheer just like her big sisters. She also idolizes her twin brother and how he makes her laugh.
This family works hard and is so appreciative of all the many hands and hearts that have contributed prayers, time and financial assistance and continue to do so to help them navigate this journey.
Kingston is a six year-old-boy diagnosed with spindle cell carcinoma with an NTRK gene. He loves playing football, soccer, basketball, baseball, video games, and riding his motorcycle. He has two hard-working moms who love and adore him, along with an older sister and a baby sister. They try to make the best of their situation while spreading love and light. Our goal is to provide a magical Christmas to take their minds off Kingston’s diagnosis and lighten their load.
Sixteen-year-old Koben passed away on October 26, 2022, from cancer. Kobin was diagnosed with Stage 4, group 4, high-risk, Rhabdomyosarcoma on October 29, 2021. He had tumors in his bones, lungs, bone marrow, connective tissues, and more. Kobin had his first chemo on November 1st. His tumors continued to grow and he decided to have quality of life over quantity. He stopped all treatment. He had 2 months that he lived to the fullest and then declined for the next 2 months. He passed away on October 26, 2022. During this whirlwind of a year, this poor family still had to persevere through other trials, such as a marriage separation, kids going away to college, and the extra needs of a cute boy with autism. We are excited to lighten their load and bring some smiles their way.