Generous $1.2 million gift to cancer services pays it forward

Donor’s long-time caretaker among the beneficiaries

Cancer research at Dixie Regional Medical Center has received a generous planned gift of more than $1.2 million from the estate of Elvin “Andy” Anderson, who passed away from a stroke at age 104 in St. George. And while Andy’s contribution will benefit many, thanks to a twist of fate, it’s also making a difference for those he cared for the most.

In 1985, Andy and his wife June formed the Elvin and June Anderson Trust. Following June’s death from breast cancer in 1992, Andy amended the trust as a perpetual endowment for the Cancer Center at Dixie Regional Medical Center. The endowment will benefit Intermountain’s Cancer Genomics research, which holds tremendous promise for cancer patients in Utah and across the nation.

“Andy loved June and wanted to do something to honor her,” said Kalynn Larson, who served for many years as the couple’s full-time caregiver and trustee of the estate. “We spent long hours talking about it. He wanted the money to go to fight cancer.”

Since they were nearly always together, Andy and his caretaker developed a deep mutual fondness and a comfortable routine. But during the final week of August 2016, two events converged that would change their lives forever: Andy passed away, and Kalynn was diagnosed with cancer.

Kalynn said that Andy’s passing left a legacy that will benefit countless cancer patients – herself now included. “Andy’s gift makes me feel like he is taking care of me, just like I took care of him,” she said. “Now I have my memories of Andy, and his inspiration helps me through my own ordeal with cancer.” She is currently undergoing treatment at Dixie Regional Medical Center.