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SALT LAKE CITY — A 5-year-old boy has a new lease on life thanks to a surgeon and his charitable foundation. It's a story of bullying and the doctor who understands only too well.
"At school my friends tease me," Kamden Gill said. "They say, ‘You got elf ears.'"
Taisian Beckstead, Kam's mother, recently learned of The Mobley Foundation, which helps provide free facial plastic surgery for children whose parents cannot afford it. She says her son just wants other children to stop making fun of him.
"It's kind of been sad, that's kind of how he introduced himself a lot of the time: 'Hi, I'm Kamden. I have elf ears.' And it's been like, 'Babe, don't. You know, we love you the way you are,'" Beckstead said.
"I, myself, dealt with some bullying and teasing when I was younger because I too had some large protruding ears," explained Dr. Mobley, the University of Utah plastic surgeon behind the foundation. "I eventually had them pinned back, and it was a nice, life changing event — had a lot to do with why I wanted to go into facial plastic surgery."
Park City, Utah 84098
The surgical center, the anesthesiologist and Mobley operate at no cost or reduced charges under The Mobley foundation. Kam is their first patient, and they hope to find others.
"Kamden's been called ‘elf' by peers; ‘Dumbo' is a popular, cruel term that kids use," Mobley said. "So, if you can get to these kids before they get labeled with a bullying term, you're going to help them develop better."
Mobley says the surgery takes a little over an hour, but the bandages come off in just two days.
"It's just amazing, it's an amazing experience," Beckstead said. "We are so blessed, so blessed. I can't believe it."
Friday afternoon, Kam visited Dr. Mobley for the unveiling. Kam got a new look, a big kiss from grandma, and a night out on the town celebrating his new look.
For more information on The Mobley Foundation visit http://mobleymd.org/.