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Fundraisers planned for 3-year-old's mounting medical bills

by: ISABEL GAUTSCHI - Maranda and Audrey Hohman take a break from piecing together a puzzle to pose for the camera.Audrey Hohman is 3-years old, enjoys puzzles and walking her dog and is really into elephants.

She’s a normal kid in every way but one.

Hohman was recently diagnosed with high risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

ALL is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow.

According to the National Cancer Institute, ALL is the most common cancer to afflict children.

The disease is notorious for progressing rapidly when untreated.

Fortunately, according to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, most children are cancer-free after treatment.

“Audrey’s never had problems like this before. Super healthy kid,” said Audrey’s mother, Maranda Hohman.

Maranda said that Audrey hadn’t been feeling well for about two weeks and that her energy had gone way down.

“When she was telling me she didn’t want to go to the park, I knew something was wrong,” Maranda said.

Things got worse.

Audrey started sleeping all of the time. One day, she started vomiting blood.

She spent three weeks in the hospital and was released just two days before her third birthday.

With her diagnosis, life was devastatingly altered for her family.

Maranda, a single mother, had been working 70 hours a week, but stopped to spend as much time as possible with Audrey.

“It’s definitely a big change in our lives to go from working 70 hours a week to being not working. The hospital is our second home now,” Maranda said.

She’ll go back to work part-time for the Oregon Lavender Farm in October.

Audrey’s father, Jake Hohman, has been working long hours to support the family.

But Audrey’s extensive medical treatment has put a heavy financial strain on the family.

Audrey is undergoing chemotherapy four times a week. Maranda said she will have to continue with the treatment for more than two years.

Audrey has endured dialysis three times and “countless” blood transfusions.

Maranda’s mother, Brenna Frickey, goes with her daughter and granddaughter to Audrey’s doctor appointments and helps to watch Audrey.

Jake’s family has been working to put together fundraisers for Audrey’s treatment.

But it’s been a struggle.

“Audrey is fighting for her life, whereas her parents are desperately juggling to stay afloat and spend as much time as possible with her. Anything helps as our son (Jake) is about capped out in his insurance!,” Audrey’s grandmother, Dana Hohman, wrote in an email. “Although he has great insurance, the co-pays, deductibles, and uncovered medications and treatments are quickly mounting to the point he is spending more time at work than with his adorable 3-year-old daughter.”

Luckily for the Hohmans, Estacada has taken the toddler to heart.

“Audrey has a lot of ties in the community,” Maranda said.

Maranda is a life-long Estacada resident and is well-known around town from growing up in the area and working several local jobs.

Jake has lived in the area for his entire life as well, as have several members of his family.

The Estacada High School cheerleaders recently donned bows in their hair in Audrey’s honor. (Maranda is a former Estacada High cheerleader.)

The Junior High School football team sported Audrey decals on their helmets.

A car wash was held to raise money for Audrey’s medical bills.

“The outpouring of support for this little angel throughout our county this past month has been amazing and every member of Audrey’s friends and family take their hats off to you all!!,” Dana wrote.

by: CONTRIBUTED - There are several upcoming fundraisers to raise money for Audrey's medical bills that aren't covered by insurance.And there are more fundraisers to come.

Sandy country band Country BackRoads will play a benefit concert 8 p.m. to midnight, Saturday, Sept. 28, at Viewpoint Restaurant & Lounge, 20189 S. Springwater Road.

The Estacada Fire Department will host a pancake breakfast fundraiser 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 6. Cost is $5 per adult, $3 for children 12 and under.

Motorcyclists (and other vehicle operators) are invited to “Ride for Audrey” to the breakfast. Riders will meet 9 a.m., Sunday, Oct. 6 at at Team Latus Motors Harley-Davidson, 870 East Berkeley Street, Gladstone.

There will be a “ride briefing” at 10 a.m. “Kickstands up” at 10:15 a.m.

There is no need to sign up to “Ride for Audrey” and it doesn’t cost a thing (though donations are appreciated.) The ride is intended to draw people to the Fire Station’s pancake breakfast fundraiser for Audrey.

There will be a benefit rummage and bake sale fundraiser 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 19-20, Harding Grange, 16831 South Harding Road, Oregon City.

All money raised from these events will go towards Audrey’s medical bills that aren’t covered by insurance.

Call Dana Hohman at 971-533-4408 for more information on the fundraisers.

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