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Ryan Hoffmann's Battle with Cancer

$8,390raised of $10,000 goal
83%

Organizer: Kelli Johnson Beneficiary: Ryan Hoffmann

At the age of 25, this gentle young man with Down syndrome faces the hardest challenge of his life...his fight against cancer.

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On January 21, 2014 Ryan Hoffmann was admitted into Wyoming Medical Center due to severe dehydration and being close to renal failure (kidney failure). Ryan had been throwing up for 4 days.  After a series of events and tests done to find the cause of his nausea and kidney problems our family received the earth shattering news on January 25 that our 25 year old had a rare cancer called Burkitt Lymphoma. This type of lymphoma is most common in males under 30, very common for Down Syndrome and is very aggressive in nature. So with 2 strikes against him we began our fight! We were advised right away that Ryan would need to be at a University Hospital where they would have the staff and equipment to handle this rare Cancer and the side effects that come with it. Tumor Lysis syndrome is one of the side effects they were referring to and was actually the cause of his throwing up and kidney problems. 

On Monday January 27th, Ryan was transported via ambulance to the University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora Colorado. There he has been put on dialysis to help his kidneys recover and has started chemotherapy to start fighting the Burkitt lymphomas that have spread throughout his abdomen. While we still don't have a prognosis or fully understand how severe the cancer is throughout his body, we do know that the chemo treatments are working and the dialysis has helped him make it to a stable physical state.

Garry and Joan Hoffmann, Ryan's parents, are able to be with him in Colorado and are staying at a very close Springhill Suites Marriott through a program offered through the hospital for cancer patients for a discounted rate. For now, our family is "cautiously optimistic" and we all have full faith that Ryan is in Gods hands whatever may come. We have set up this site to offer a way for friends and family to get updates on Ryan and to be able to offer help by making donations to offset the costs of  hotel, fuel, food and medical expenses that are adding up quickly.

On behalf of the whole Hoffmann family, we are all very grateful for the many prayers and services already rendered on behalf of Ryan and extend our sincerest THANK YOU for visiting this site and joining this journey with us! There is strength in numbers! 
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Updates

Updates

06/27/2014
by Kelli Johnson

Ryan got his blood work done on Tuesday and in the words of his oncologist “I am just amazed by how well he has recovered.”  She said that in her experience he is amongst the best with how well he has been able to recover and bounce back!  That’s our stubborn, tough, fun loving Ryan and we are grateful he is so strong!  Actually he is kind of a wimp when things get hard, so to be realistic we will chalk this up to him being carried and strengthened by the out pouring of good all around us, and the faith and prayers of so many!

 Ryan has another PET scan July 1st and then will be returning to Wyoming!  As of right now we are planning to have him follow up with the oncologist in Casper that we started this journey with and do any immediate blood work or concerns with her. But we will travel to Denver every 3 months for his appointments at Childrens! 

We have raised $8,390 to help offset the financial burden of this emotional journey for Ryan and his parents. That is $1,610 below our goal but we still feel successful and overwhelmed by the generosity from everyone who has contributed! Thank You!  THANK YOU!!!

I will post again after his scan next week to let you know what they see! Have a good weekend!  


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06/09/2014
by Kelli Johnson
5 more days of Chemo! Ryan was admitted this morning and is expected to stay until Friday night. He recovered well and is doing better than we expected. His hardest recovery issue has been that he has bad leg aches and his legs are really really weak. The medical team thinks this might be due to the medicine they give him to help his body produce new white blood cells and is something we will pay close attention to when he is able to truly recover.
We are still not sure if Ryan will return to Casper with Kelli and Chauncy, his sister and brother-in-law,  or to Sheridan with Mom and Dad. We have asked the medical team if there is an oncology group that they feel would better understand Ryan and the type of cancer we are working with. I will let you know when that decision is made!
As always Thank You for your support! I hope you have a good day!
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06/05/2014
by Kelli Johnson

Ryan is scheduled to start his last round of Chemo on Monday June 9, 2014! He will be admitted Monday morning and discharged Friday night…if all goes as planned! This has been an amazing journey full of ups and downs and we are very thankful to be rounding this last corner.  Ryan will finish his Chemo days and then remain in Denver through the end of June so that he will be able to be monitored by his doctors.  Then he will be allowed to return to Wyoming. We are planning on following the advice of his doctors on whether Casper or Sheridan has an oncology group that they recommend for Ryan’s follow up care.
Thank you for all of the support we have received. There is still time to donate if anyone out there still can! Every amount helps and is greatly appreciated! I wish you all a fun, happy, safe summer! If you have kids, hug them a little tighter today! And if you don't have kids...hug your parents! Family is what this is all about!!!!


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05/14/2014
by Kelli Johnson
Ryan is well on his way to his 5th round of Chemo! He will start round 5 this coming Monday or Tuesday. Even though his recovery is continuting to get harder, he is recovering well enough to have more! I will not tell you all of the details of what Joan is going through as she cares for him through all of this, but to say the least I really do wonder if this is harder on Ryan or her!? Please specifically mention her in your prayers! She will be well over due for a vacation when all of this is said and done!
Thank you for keeping up with this story and continuing to support us through this!
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04/28/2014
by Kelli Johnson
Ryan's tests went well today so he has been readmitted to start round 4 of Chemo. The Chemo continues to get harder on him but he seems to bounce back right before starting the next round. He should be in the hospital for the next 5 days...please continue to pray for him and Joan! We truly appreciate all of the support that has been offered! I'll update you as soon as I know more!
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04/22/2014
by Kelli Johnson
Since my last post Ryan has completed his 3rd Chemo round at Childrens Hospital of Colorado....and I am unsure of how this report should go. He is still very stable and is able to leave the hospital to return to Brent's Place for his recovery days. However, the Chemo is taking its toll. I feel like we have gone from watching him die of cancer to now watching him die of Chemo. He is very weak and distant much of the time. Joan has gone full days without him saying a word for/to her. On a positive note, he is still eating and his weight is in a good range, and the last couple of days with the beautiful Denver weather he has been wanting to swing a couple of times a day! So there is good and bad. I just feel scared that he starts round 4 next tuesday...
Please continue to hope, and pray for him...for us! We will never be able to say thank you enough, but I will say it again and again! Thank you for the support! I will try to post more often to keep everyone informed.
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03/31/2014
by Kelli Johnson
After spending the weekend with Ryan we are feeling positive about how he is holding up! He is weak with a low appetite but overall seems to be recovering well! I have counted out an outline of the Chemo treatments he has had and the treatments he is scheduled to receive:
round 1 : February 25th - March 17th
round 2 : March 18th - April 7th
round 3 : April 8th - April 28th
round 4 : April 29th - May 19th
round 5 : May 20th - June 9th
round 6 : June 10th - June 30th
This all depends on how Ryan is able to recover after each round and it may be possible they choose to do more than 6 rounds. But for now we are very hopeful that at the end of June Ryan and Joan will be able to return to Wyoming!
I have extended the date on this fundraiser until then so that I can keep posting updates and because I am still hopeful to make our $10,000 goal! If there are any 2010 SHS graduates that are reading this could you please make sure this site and Ryan's story gets out to other graduates that know Ryan!? He is a well loved man and we can use all the support we can get! So PLEASE keep up the prayers and everything else! Ryan is a ray of sunshine in this world and we are doing everything we can to keep him here!  Thank you! Have a good day!! :)
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03/25/2014
by Kelli Johnson
Ryan and Joan were able to get into a two bedroom apartment at Brent's Place on March 20th!  "Brent's Place" is a facility that offers a place for families to live while their children are going through cancer treatments! It is very close to the hospital and offers a very comfortable and clean place for Ryan and other recovering kids to live in between treatments at Children's!  In fact Ryan started his 2nd round of Chemo at Children's on March 18th and finished on March 22nd then was able to leave the hospital on March 23rd and go to Brent's Place!  He has had trouble with nausea and headaches but nothing that some medicine hasn't been able to help with. His appetite is down but this is all to be expected especially the 1st 48 hours after stopping Chemo! We are optimistic that he will strengthen each day...until he has to start his next round and start this all over again! For now it is our understanding that he will receive 4 more rounds of Chemo at Children's before he will be released to move home to Wyoming. This can all be changed and the Dr's will ultimately make the call on how many rounds they feel Ryan can safely handle.
On another note....I would like to point out that this fundraiser will only be open for another 7 days! I will look into pushing back the days but to be honest I would really like to reach this goal and focus on something else! So will everyone that reads this update please share this link with others that either know our family or that might be willing to help! We have been overwhelmed with the generous contributions from both people we know and people who just know what we are going through!  So please push this out through your networks and lets see if we can reach the goal of $10,000 by the close date! Thank you! Lots of LOVE from the Hoffmann family! For those of you who don't know us...There is Mom and Dad and then 5 girls and 2 boys in that order! Ryan is the baby!
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03/17/2014
by Kelli Johnson
Just a quick update! Ryan has been doing really well! He is very weak going up and down stairs and walking for more than the length of his loop on the hospital floor. At the beginnging of his week out we took him to the park to swing (one of his favorite activites at home) and he just sat on the swing but didnt want to be pushed or swing himself. By last Friday and about his forth time at the park, he asked for his music and he was swinging and pumping himself!! Very very heart warming and encouraging for us to see!

We had thought that he would start his next round of Chemo today but it is scheduled for tomorrow, pending his blood work shows he is strong enough to go ahead. We also learned that even though he had recieved a round of Chemo at the University Hospital and then moved to the Childrens for his next...they are only counting the rounds he is recieving at Childrens. So tomorrow will start round 2 at Childrens! Five days straight on IV administered Chemo and then back to recovery days! Please continue sending him your prayers, good thoughts, well wishes, good vibes, good karma, good energy....am I missing any? :) it is all working and helping! And there is a very large family that cant thank you enough for your love and support! I will post another update to let you know how he is handling this next round! May God bless you and yours!
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03/12/2014
by Kelli Johnson
Sorry it has been awhile since we have updated. Ryan was discharged last Wednesday the 5th until next Tuesday the 18th! We have chosen to keep him close to the Childrens Hospital due to the fact that Wyoming doesnt have a pediatric oncologist and that he has to be taken in to get blood work done every two days. So far his blood work has shown that he is stable enough to stay out....the numbers that are being watched close are his White Blood Cell count, his Red Blood Cell count, Platelets, Creatinine and Hemoglobin. All of which are either High or Low compared to the "normal" range but all stable enough for Ryan to get a break from the hospital. He tires easily and is pretty weak overall, but has enjoyed a movie with his brother-in-law and more activities that help his morale. We have put him on an 8 o'clock bedtime schedule to encourage plenty of rest. We are worried about when he has to be admitted again next Tuesday, he just doesn't understand and really hates being attached to all those machines, (who wouldn't?)
Joan, Ryan's mom, has been with him the whole time and will be able to stay with him. Garry, Ryan's dad, had to go back to Wyoming this week to prepare for his own medical checkups for a major back surgery he had done in October, 2013. And then will need to return to work but will travel back and forth from Wyoming as often as possible, an 8hr trip one way. We are all pleased with how Ryan has handled the first 2 rounds of Chemo but are nervous about what is to come as they continue to poison his body with the hope that the Chemo "poison" will win the fight against the cancer and that his body is strong enough to win the fight against the Chemo.  This cancer game isn't fun. Again it is time to offer our sincere thanks for all of the love and support that has been extended to our family. The financial support has helped to ease our burden....thank you. And we have been spiritually lifted and strengthened more than we can explain with words. So again Thank You and please for our sakes, keep it up! 
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03/04/2014
by Kelli Johnson
We are pleased to let you know that Ryan has completed his 2nd round of Chemo. He is scheduled to start round 3 on the 17th of March, St. Patricks Day! For those of you that dont speak "cancer" like me, a "round" of Chemo for Ryan is a 21 day cycle. He starts with 5 days in a row of a mixture of different drugs delivered through IV, after which he has recovery days. Each round has slightly different drugs and amounts that are given, and all of the Chemo drugs being given to Ryan are "less toxic" than drugs that would be given for organ cancers and blood cancers you hear about. So far he is handling the Chemotherapy well and will most likely be allowed to leave the hospital for his recovery days. He has had a few side effects on his skin and with pneumonia but they have been taken care of quickly and are not delaying his treatments. Since Wyoming doesn't have a Pediatric Oncologist, he will be staying close to the Children's Hospital where he can still be checked on and go to quickly if he gets a fever or any other sign of sickness.
Please keep the prayers, thoughts, well wishes, and hopeful feelings coming! I thought for sure that the Broncos poor performance in the Super-Bowl was a really bad omen...but so far it hasn't affected this situation! :) Thank You for your support and strength!
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02/23/2014
by Kelli Johnson

When Ryan left the Wyoming Medical Center in Casper they told us that he would need to get a PET scan and possibly a bone marrow biopsy, so as to see how profuse the cancer was throughout his body. Upon arriving to the Universtiy of Colorado Hospital, Ryan's kidneys were dangerously close to failure and became an equal priority for the doctors in the matter of life or death, so no PET scan or bone marrow biopsy. After kidney dialysis and starting a "gentle" Chemo, the University Hospital team saw good improvment and the decision was made by us all to have Ryan transfered to the Childrens Hospital of Colorado, where the oncology team has more experience with Burkitt Lymphoma,(Ryan's type of cancer) and Down Syndrome patients.  That transfer took place this past Tuesday!
Since he arrived at Childrens he has gotten a bone marrow biopsy, a PET scan, and had a "port" implanted in/on his chest. (which is how the Chemo is now administered to his body)
The results from the tests came on Friday and are very very exciting!!! There was no sign of cancer cells in his bone marrow, and the PET scan also came back negative! It is like the Chemo was able to make the cancer melt away! The oncologists act like this is to be expected with this type of cancer...it is very aggressive and fast growing but also very quick to die off with the right Chemo! With this said, it is not going to be this easy! If left at this point, the cancer would come back. Ryan still has 5-8 more rounds of Chemo to live through.
He is scheduled to start his next round tomorrow February, 24th. However, he has had complications with his skin and with pnemonia, so this might get pushed back a day or two.
All in all, we are very pleased with the care he has recieved at all of the hospitals he has been in but feel he is where he should be! He has an XBOX and Wii in his room along with an Ipad to play around on! None of which are "nesessary" but sure do help with his morale!
We have been very blessed and feel like our path is being led! Unless you have experienced something like this yourself, you can't imagine how it strengthens us to recieve so much support and love from family and friends as well as perfect strangers. Thank you all! God is blessing us! May you see and feel how He is blessing YOU too!
If you have mail you would like for Garry and Joan Hoffmann or for Ryan, please send it to
Kelli Johnson, 3347 Chaparral, Casper WY 82604 , with the name of who it needs to go to!


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02/18/2014
by Kelli Johnson
It was a month ago, on January 18th, that Ryan started throwing up and had a loss of appetite. It is hard to believe all that has happened in that time...He has gone from Wyoming Medical Center, in Casper, to University of Colorado Hospital and today he was moved again into Children's Hospital of Colorado. We feel good about this move and hope that this is where we will ride out the rest of Ryan's journey with him. He has now completed his 1st round of chemo and is scheduled to start his 2nd round this coming Monday. We have been working through some skin problems that have developed due to his being on anti-biotics for nearly a month, and his body being hit with chemo at the same time, but with the help of the wound team at the hospital that is getting cleared up. He continues to repeatedly ask to go home, which is heart breaking because he just doesn't understand what is going on. 
We are able to keep our strength, and hopes up in large part because of all the goodness that is coming in from YOU our support team! Thank you, thank you, for all donations, prayers, well wishes, thoughts and good vibes being sent in from all around the globe! We have truly been humbled and we are so grateful for all the goodness around us. May God bless each of you!  
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02/12/2014
by Kelli Johnson
We have recently learned that the oncology team at the Childrens Hospital, located just two buildings over, has experience with Burkitt Lymphoma and Down Syndrome! And that they accept Down Syndrome patients up to age 30! We have made the decision to get him moved as soon as possible.
However, today was the last day of his 1st round of chemo! If his kidneys and blood count stay stable for 4 days he will be allowed to leave the hospital until he starts his 2nd round on the 23rd of February. So pending how stable his body is...he will be coming to Wyoming for a week! Then when he returns for his 2nd round he will be admitted into the Childrens Hospital and resume his care there with that team.
We have also been given a clearer picture of what we can expect his treatment schedule to look like and how long it will take to see it through. He will need at least 6 rounds of chemo, each round taking about a month and a half to complete, which includes recovery days for his body.  6-9 months from now is a hopful estimate of when he will be done, if everything goes very smoothly. With this information in mind I have decided to increase our fundraising goal to $10,000. The support and donations we have already recieved have been overwhelming! We are so grateful to all of you who have pitched in. 
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02/09/2014
by Kelli Johnson
2-9-2014
Last week at this time Ryan was on dialyisis and a ventilator. As of today he has had all of those supports removed and has even started OT and PT to start strenghthening his body from his week of laying in bed.

We were also able to have a really straight talk with his oncologist and are now more informed on what we are looking at as far as a chemotherapy schedule. Ryan is on a 6-9 month schedule of treatment and recovery cycles.  It will depend on how his body handles the chemo before we know if he will be able to go back to wyoming for his "recovery" days.

As everyone that knows Ryan can imagine, all of the staff at the hospital have fallen in love with him and he is quickly becoming a favorite on the floor, which means he will be well taken care of!

We can't thank everyone enough for their contributions to Ryan's cause and appreciate you spreading the word on his situation. We will update again soon.
 
Love you, the Hoffmann's

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02/05/2014
by Kelli Johnson
02/05/2014
Today, Ryan was taken off of the respirator, dialysis and feeding tube! He was able to get out of bed and work with a physical and occupational therapist for the first time in sevaral days. Since he's had to spend so much time in bed with the respirator and dialysis, it's really important that he gets moving around.

He is in the process of moving to the oncology floor where we hope to get more information on his prognosis. This is a big step from the ICU. He seems to be holding up well to the chemo treatment regimend and we hope this trend continues. Thank you again for the love and support. As we know more, we will continue to update you.
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