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KSL Cares: Profile on Primary Children's Medical Center

By Carole Mikita | Posted - May 9, 2011 at 8:55 p.m.

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SALT LAKE CITY — The new KSL Cares campaign gives you a chance to help a Utah charity get $20,000. Using the KSL TV Facebook page, you can pick one of five charities to vote for to receive the money.

One of those charities is Primary Children's Medical Center.

Tennyson Mather appeared on KSL's Primary Children's telethon shortly after he was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer.
Tennyson Mather appeared on KSL's Primary Children's telethon shortly after he was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer.

"(I had) stage 4 for about six months," cancer survivor Tennyson Mather said. "They basically told my parents every night, 'Say goodbye, this will probably be the last night you'll see him.'"

In 2001, 8-year-old Tennyson complained of a bad stomach ache and said his chin was numb. The diagnosis: stage 4 leukemia and lymphoma, in both his blood and bones. He began nine months of chemotherapy at Primary Children's Medical Center.

While that news was horrific, his parents suddenly lost their business and insurance. But the hospital didn't ask for money.

"No, never once," Tennyson said. "We had nurses and doctors and people we didn't even know helping us out."

By people, he means Primary Children's supporters throughout the region who watched Tennyson and others on KSL's annual telethon and donated generously.

"The policy is that children can come here regardless of race, religion or the ability to pay. Because of that, we're seeing one out of every 10 families that walk through the doors who need financial assistance," said Sharon Goodrich, director of the Primary Children's Foundation.

Last year, the hospital expended about $12.5 million to cover 13,500 children.

"Our community gives life and a future to children at Primary Children's Medical Center," Goodrich said. As medical director, Dr. Ed Clark always says, PCMC is truly embraced by its community, "and this hospital could not be among the best without community support."

From Tennyson, now an 18-year-old Murray High School senior, many thanks.

"I wish I could give back just a little of what they gave me," he says of doctors, nurses and the community.

How is he feeling?

"Oh, I feel great, I mean, look at me, you know?"

He's the picture of health with graduation ahead of him and college in the near future, with an interest in -- you guessed it -- medicine.

CLICK HERE for more information on KSL Cares.


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