SALT LAKE CITY — Nellie Mainor is a sweet 8-year-old girl with a rare kidney disease, but she isn't letting that stop her from giving back to others. She's using her cooking skills to help patients at Primary Children’s Hospital.
Nellie has a rare illness called dense deposit disease, which stops the kidneys from correctly filtering waste from the blood, so her kidneys are chronically in failure. She was diagnosed in October 2017 and has spent a lot of time at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City.
She is on the hospital’s kidney transplant list and now spends 10 hours every day receiving dialysis in her home. “Before, she would go three days a week for dialysis at the hospital,” said Sarah Mainor, Nellie's mom.
Nellie hasn’t only been a patient at the hospital, but she's also been an advocate and fundraiser for the hospital. To give back, she is going to "flip it forward" with the help of IHOP restaurants.
On Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., IHOP restaurants will host their annual Free Pancake Day campaign to benefit Children's Miracle Network hospitals. Donations made at Utah's IHOP restaurants will benefit patients at Primary Children's Hospital.
Nellie is one of three children from across the United States selected to be on the 2019 IHOP Kid Chef Team. Her colorful and fun recipe got her one of those spots.
Nellie calls her pancakes “PaNellie Unicorn Cakes,” and they feature a vibrant stack of blue and pink pancakes decorated with frosting, whipped cream, sprinkles, berries, and a sugar cone unicorn horn to top it off.
Although her recipe didn’t win her the title of champion chef, she still has her joyous demeanor and giving spirit.
“Go get your free stack of pancakes and make a donation," Sarah Mainor said. "You never know, but maybe Nellie will pop in. Hopefully, she’ll get to surprise you."
Funds raised through Utah IHOP Restaurants will support Primary Children’s art and music therapy, charity care and other programs. Last year, IHOP’s National Pancake Day campaign was able to raise more than $100,000 for the hospital.