Eli Butler and his little brother celebrate being cancer-free.

Mom, son battle cancer side-by-side

March 25, 2021

Kristi and Rob Butler’s days were the happiest kind of chaos with three little boys, all under 5. Then one day, the world stopped spinning. Their son Eli was diagnosed with leukemia. Then lymphoma…two types of cancer at once.

Kristi, a physical therapist at Sanford, knew where to turn: the pediatric cancer experts at Sanford Children’s.

A year later, Kristi was diagnosed with breast cancer. Again, her Sanford Family was there, ensuring the best care at the Edith Sanford Breast Center.

“We can go across town and get everything we need right here in our own community because of the generosity of everybody,” Rob said. “The love and care of the people that work there…it’s phenomenal.”

Today, both Eli and Kristi are cancer-free, and the Butlers are back to enjoying their crazy, loved-filled lives because of expert care, available close to home.

Throughout their journey, giving meant more moments of hope for Eli and Kristi, bravery with Child Life, comfort with nurse navigation, and confidence with cancer experts.

To all those who already give to the Sanford Health Foundation or Good Samaritan Foundation, thank you! You make these moments possible for all those we serve.


100% of gifts support:

  • Special services for patients and residents
  • Educational opportunities for employees
  • Financial assistance for patients and Sanford Family in need
  • The latest technology and equipment
  • So much more


Giving means more moments like this

In just two minutes, you can give hope to more families like the Butlers.

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