There has been so much written about the generosity of this amazing man, Jon Huntsman Sr. A former cancer victim himself, Huntsman dedicated more than a billion dollars in an effort to eradicate that horrible disease. He inspired so many to raise money every year as well.
Jon Huntsman was extraordinary in that he paid all overhead expenses for the Huntsman Cancer Foundation so that every single penny donated would go directly toward cancer treatment and research. He also took care of the families of victims, sometimes flying them to Utah in his private jet at no expense. Amazing.
His philanthropy wasn’t merely for show. If so, he could easily have paid the overhead of the foundation from donations, like so many others do and still received all of the accolades anyway. The creation and success of the Institute and Foundation bearing his name were heartfelt gestures of love for his fellow man.
That brings me to the Huntsman Hometown Heroes, a group of amazing people who are just as dedicated to killing this monster we call cancer. My wife and I were actively involved with this incredible group who train every week for 5K, half marathons, full marathons and cycling events as well.
The most amazing thing to me is that each Hometown Hero also raises money during the entire year and all of it goes to the Huntsman Cancer Foundation. And I mean hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years. Even though Heather had struggled with running since a hip replacement, she continues to raise thousands of dollars every year.
Elfi and Rick Ortenburger have donated so much time, support and money to the program. Here they are with Mr. Huntsman and Marie Murray, an amazing woman who, with the help of the Cancer Institute beat stage four breast cancer and started to run with the Hometown Heroes. She consistently raised thousands of dollars every year too and offered support for anyone who needed help. She even qualified and ran in the Boston Marathon, no easy task. In the end, she lost her battle with the horrible disease but her legacy lives on.
We have other friends who have been helped tremendously by the efforts of Jon Huntsman Sr. Our dear friend Shaine Mabey was able to beat stage four colon cancer through treatment at the institute.
People like Jon Huntsman Sr. don’t come around very often. His legacy lives on and he will continue to inspire others for generations to come.