Imagine Dragons lead singer to give concert for Utah woman fighting cancer
Kim Olsen White has found a great friend in Dan Reynolds.
The two have been friends since 2007, when they met at a fireside for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. White is now a 26-year-old Utah wife and mother who is battling cancer. Reynolds is now the lead singer for the rock band Imagine Dragons, and he's using his fame to help his friend by putting on a benefit concert to raise money for White's medical bills.
“The best part of my career is to be able to do something to give back and to help,” Reynolds said. “I think anybody in that position to help should definitely take it because you feel like you’re part of something bigger than you, and it makes you see the world in a different way.”
Early on in Reynolds' career with Imagine Dragons, the band formed a charity called the Tyler Robinson Foundation, which is dedicated to a young friend who had died from cancer. Now, the band puts on benefits concerts and donates all the proceeds to the families in need.
“It goes towards the families and all the unforeseen costs that come with that beyond medical bills,” Reynolds said.
White was 18 weeks pregnant with her second child when her doctor found a cantaloupe-sized tumor on her kidney. In order to remove the tumor, the doctors had to deliver the baby, who did not survive. His parents named him Hinckley.
The results of the tumor revealed adrenocortical carcinoma, an aggressive form of cancer originating in the cortex of her adrenal gland.
Currently, White has stage two adrenocortical carcinoma.
White said the hardest part of the last six months has been the thought of her almost 2-year-old daughter, Hensleigh, growing up without a mom. When she was in the hospital for 11 days, White went 48 hours without seeing her daughter, a first for the two.
“Some of those days I was in the ICU, where kids can’t even come in,” White said. “I remember one night I was in the ICU and she was crying and screaming for her mom, but they couldn’t bring her in. It was definitely challenging.”
After her surgery, she wasn’t allowed to lift anything for six weeks, another challenge for the mother and daughter.
“I had to have a lot of help, but it was really hard because she’d want me to pick her up. She’d come to me and say, ‘Momma hold you,’ and I couldn’t pick her up,” White said.
White said she’s grateful her daughter is too young to remember most of what went on.
“She’s finally back to normal, but anytime I go to the hospital or anything like that, as soon as we walk in she’s scared. She knows the hospital is a bad place,” White said.
Currently, White takes four pills a day for her chemotherapy treatment, and so far, it’s going well.
“I still get a little nauseous sometimes, and the pills are supposed to make my body weak, but I’ve been exercising more and more to combat that,” White said. “I’m feeling very blessed that I’m doing well and I can take care of my daughter by myself again. I am able to live a normal life right now.”
White said her faith has played a huge role in coping with her illness.
The night Hinckley was born, her father and husband gave her a priesthood blessing. She felt comfort and peace that everything was going to be OK.
She also relies on prayers, scriptures and listening to Mormon Messages to keep her faith.
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