After losing toddler to cancer, Utah family fights to help others

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Hayes Tate and his parents Courtesy: Tate family

SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) This is a parent's worst nightmare: a child diagnosed with cancer.

Former University of Utah football player Steve Tate and his wife Savannah went through that nightmare for the last couple years – and unfortunately lost that fight when their son Hayes passed away last year at just 20 months old.

Hayes, who was born on March 12, 2015 with his triplet brother and sister -- Heath and Reese -- was first diagnosed with a brain tumor, Choroid Plexus Carcinoma, at 9-months old.

It is a rare form of cancer that affects one in 3 million people. Hayes was admitted to Primary Children’s Hospital Jan. 2016 where he underwent five rounds of chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant.

Hayes was in the maintenance round of his treatment when, in November 2016, his family said he started throwing up and was taken to Primary Children’s Hospital.

He underwent emergency surgery. The family hoped it was only because the shunt placed in his brain had moved. Instead, a few days later, doctors told family the cancer had returned to take over certain areas of his brain, crucial to survival.

Even after losing their son, the Tates aren’t giving up. They’re now fighting for other kids and other families going through this harrowing fight. The Tates started the ‘HayesTough Foundation’ in memory of their little boy. The foundation is dedicated to providing financial support and hope to families affected by childhood cancer.

Every year, nearly 100,000 kids die from cancer.

The family is organizing an event this year – the inaugural HayesArmy Gala – it will be held in Salt Lake on Sept. 30, 2017.

For more information about the HayesTough Foundation or childhood cancer, visit their website

You can also follow the family’s posts on Facebook.