Children and families will be the focus of a multi-million dollar expansion of Huntsman Cancer Institute

By Glen Mills

Published 06/06 2014 05:45PM

Updated 06/06 2014 06:12PM

SALT LAKE CITY, (ABC 4 Utah) – A multi million dollar expansion with a focus on children and families is now officially underway at the Huntsman Cancer Institute.

This $105,000,000 expansion project will add another 220,000 square feet.

It’s latest contribution to Jon Huntsman Sr.’s vision to conquer cancer.

A disease that knows no boundaries, you could say we've all been impacted in some way.

Perhaps a loved one has battled the disease, a friend or even you?

That's the diagnosis John Maack received in 2012.

A rare form of Hodgkin’s lymphoma called mantle cell.

"You have to internalize it initially and then you have to decide how you're going to take it from there and you just make the best of it," said Maack.

He made the decision to fight and it paid off.

"I'm in remission and consider myself a survivor."

He says it wouldn't have been possible with out the encouragement and resources of the Huntsman Cancer Institute.

That's why he was on hand for the latest groundbreaking ceremony.

Phase 4 will be known as The Primary Children's & Families' Cancer Research Center.

When complete it will increase the institute to 893,000 square feet.

Twenty years ago the dream was just becoming a reality.

"We've been very fortunate and when we think we've given it all away some of our other businesses seem to be escalating and we're able to keep the train rolling," said Founder, Jon Huntsman Sr.

Rolling to the tune of billions, Forbes estimates Huntsman has accumulated 1.4 billion dollars in charitable giving.

"They developed a unique philosophy that I wish was followed by more people and that is, what we make we are going to leave behind," said former Utah Governor, Jon Huntsman Jr.

Construction on phase 4 hasn't even started, but Huntsman is so dedicated to finding a cure to cancer he's already thinking of phase 5 and beyond.

"I feel quite comfortable that 50 years from now this entire mountainside will be the medical complex, the largest cancer complex and to the south we will continue to add more research," said Huntsman Sr.

Huntsman is motivated by those who have lost the battle, like his mother and father and the multitudes who beat it and are still here to say thanks.

"This place is an inspiration. I felt at home the minute I came through the doors and every time I come back," said Maack.
This newest phase is expected to open in 2016.
Major donors include the Huntsman family, the Huntsman Cancer Foundation, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Intermountain Healthcare and the state of Utah.

Coincidentally, Huntsman reported the common stock for the cancer institute hit an all time high Friday.

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