Thursday, 18 December 2014 06:27

Oyen family faces hardship after loss of father/husband; fund set up

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An Oyen family is facing a horrible scenario this Christmas — life without the husband and father in the family.


Lacey Hogan, with her two small children, lost her husband and the children’s father John, in a head-on vehicle collision Dec. 11.
According to a statement released by Special Areas, for which John was employed, he was travelling on Highway 9 between Youngstown and Hanna when the fatal collision occurred at approximately 11:20 a.m.
It’s a difficult time, especially with Christmas and bills piling up. The Hogans already faced challenges as one of the children, Teejay, has Down Syndrome and requires extra care, with medical appointments four hours away from Oyen.
The community has come together to help.
A www.gofundme.com account located online at http://www.gofundme.com/ituhw8 has been set up for the Hogans by a friend who has a special tie to them.
Krista Rowland-Collins talked to Lacey about the accident through social media. Rowland-Collins was devastated for Hogan and felt compelled to do something for them, especially considering it is the Christmas season.
“I felt that I needed to do something for her and the children. It’s the least I can do. I have also contacted some of the radio stations asking if they would provide some support or if they have a Christmas project in place for families who could use some comfort and joy this holiday season,” Rowland-Collins explained.  “I have not known the Hogan family for very long. Lacey has a son, Teejay, who has Down Syndrome. My husband and I also have a little miracle with Down Syndrome. We connected through my daughter’s Facebook page.”
The response to the fundraising efforts has been astonishing.
“My initial goal was $1,000. I was excited when people started donating. It’s a busy time of year with lots of money being spent on Christmas presents and parties. It was wonderful to see that Lacey has so many wonderful people in her life. There have been donations from all over, including those who don’t know the family. Currently, we have raised over ($24,715).”
As of Dec. 17 at 9:30 a.m., the account stated this total had been collected in three days thanks to 201 donations.
“I’m not too sure if there are any other fundraising efforts being planned,” added Rowland-Collins. “I’m sure that her close family and friends will be there to offer support and care for the children.”
Officials with both Special Areas and the provincial government issued a joint statement.
“I was deeply saddened to hear about this tragedy. My heart goes out to the family in this difficult time,” Municipal Affairs Minister Diana McQueen said.
 “On behalf of the Special Areas Board, I want to express our deepest sympathies and condolences,” said Special Areas Board Chair Jay Slemp. “May the family and friends find comfort from friends and loved ones to help carry them through this difficult time.”

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Ryan Dahlman

Managing Editor