Two University of Utah School of Medicine professors, a handful of fly rods and a host of fishing flies came together for a wonderful weekend escape for a group of Primary Children’s Hospital cancer patients and their families.
Tim Jenkins and Ki Aston were the brains behind the event. They’ve loved fishing since they were kids and have turned that love into a successful business. They wanted to give back to the community and felt like this would be the perfect opportunity.
“For me, fly fishing is relaxing and a great escape from everything,” said Jenkins, a researcher and assistant professor at the University of Utah School of Medicine, Division of Urology. “We wanted to help some patients at Primary Children’s enjoy fun with their families and thought this would be a great fit.”
Jenkins and Aston put out a call on social media to get assistance for the trip and received an overwhelming response. Individuals and companies from around the world responded by donating thousands of fishing flies and a couple fly rods for each of the families. Jenkins and Aston’s families joined in the fun by assembling the fly boxes.
The fishing and fun took place at Falcon’s Ledge in Eastern Utah, a great set-up for the kids and families.
“The area was perfect,” Jenkins said. “We had areas that were easy to access for the kids who couldn’t go as far and we set up a craft area in the lodge for the younger kids.”
It was the first time fly fishing for most of the families, but you wouldn’t know that based on their success.
“The kids caught on quickly and each family caught around a dozen trout,” said Ki Aston, also a researcher and associate professor at the University of Utah School of Medicine, Division of Urology. “This was a great opportunity for the families to spend a relaxing day together away from the hospitals, treatments and testing. Everyone said they had a great time.”
The kids and families had a great time, but so did Jenkins and Aston.
“We’ve had some pretty cool days after forming our company, but we genuinely feel this was the coolest day we’ve had so far,” Jenkins said.
Primary Children’s Hospital ranks among the best children's hospitals. Located in scenic Utah, everything in our hospital is focused on providing the best care for children. For more than 90 years, we have been committed to helping children, families, and communities across the western United States.