The Place


Local 12-year-old cancer survivor sings with Andy Grammer in concert

"Don't Give Up On Me"
Posted at 1:55 PM, Sep 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-01 15:55:16-04

A local 12-year-old cancer survivor performed with Andy Grammer in concert after the singer-songwriter saw the boy singing "Don't Give Up on Me" at a Primary Children's Hospital event.

Payson Inkley and his mom Wendy Inkley joined us to talk about how it all came about.

Payson Inkley diagnosed with leukemia just before his seventh birthday and was treated at Intermountain Primary Children's Hospital for more than two years.

"I didn't know leukemia meant cancer," Payson says. "So, when I found out I had cancer, I was surprised. But I was never really terrified because I knew the doctors had a plan," he said.

Payson faced 889 days of cancer treatment with bravery and grace, and never lost hope. In remission since 2019, Payson enjoys spending time with family, sports, and performing in musical theater.

Payson now gives back to the caregivers, doctors, and other patients at Primary Children's as a Children's Miracle Network patient champion, emcee for the groundbreaking on the second campus of Primary Children's Hospital, which is scheduled to open in Lehi, Utah in 2024, and speaks and performs at fundraising events for Primary Children's Hospital.

One of those performances caught Grammer's attention.

At an Aug. 11 Intermountain Foundation event, Payson performed Grammer's song, "Don't Give Up On Me." A video of his performance was sent to Grammer through Children's Miracle Network.

As luck would have it, Grammer was in Utah at the time, preparing for his concert in Sandy. He was planning to surprise the Primary Children's palliative care team with a performance, thanks to a family who nominated them through the singer's community text contest. He invited Payson to join him at Primary Children's for the surprise performance.

On August 18, Grammer performed at Primary Children's Hospital, singing his song, "Saved My Life," to the palliative care team. Payson joined Grammer in singing "Don't Give Up On Me."

Impressed by Payson's vocals, Grammer invited Payson to perform the song with him in concert, creating an unforgettable moment for Payson and his family.