After announcement of declining health, Utahns share memories and offer support for Elder L. Tom Perry

Posted at 10:26 PM, May 29, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-30 00:26:39-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- On a snowy winter day, during his mission in downtown Salt Lake City, Tyler Daines found himself face-to-face with one of the leaders of his faith, Elder L. Tom Perry, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

He remembers Elder Perry's words: "If you hold my umbrella over my head, I'll give you a push."

Born with spina bifida, Tyler was in his wheelchair. Both Tyler, a young man serving his mission close to home due to health reasons, and Elder Perry found a common destination. Both men were on their way to get haircuts.

Tyler says he held the umbrella high, and Elder Perry pushed him through the snow.

"My chair is kind of low so, I felt bad for him having to bend over, hurting his back," Daines said.

Upon hearing the news on Friday that Elder Perry's thyroid cancer had spread, Daines was clearly near tears as he recalls his personal encounter, a moment of kindness coming from the LDS Church leader.

"It's something I will always remember about Elder Perry," he said.

Others enjoying a warm spring day at Temple Square have their own messages for Elder Perry and his family.

"We just want to share our love and gratitude for all of the service that the Perry family has given the church worldwide," said Alison Bardsley.

"People keep serving, people keep being members, no matter the circumstances," Adam Rubeck said. "I think that could be comfort to him."

Those are words Tyler Daines takes to heart as he remembers more than a church leader, but a person who showed him kindness on a snowy winter day.

"I just want him to know that me personally, I am thankful for him and his family," Daines said.

The LDS Church announced Friday Perry's cancer is spreading aggressively and he will be receiving hospice care soon, click here for details.