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Washington family challenged by two cancer diagnoses looks for hope and help

The family is facing a long list of struggles and all at the same time. Jeremy Hoskinson and his mother, Karen Simpson, learned just weeks apart they had cancer.

RIDGEFIELD, Wash. — A Washington family is facing a long list of struggles, and all at the same time. 

In the past few months, Jeremy Hoskinson and his mother, Karen Simpson, learned just weeks apart they had cancer. That was shortly after a death, and birth in the family.

“My mom died at the end of August of heart failure and then in November, our fourth baby Emmarie. She's three months old now,” said Melissa, Jeremy's wife.

Emmarie is a joy, but for a young family of four and a grandmother— their cancer concerns are overwhelming.

Karen learned she had breast cancer in December, her third such diagnosis since 1994. She's since had a full mastectomy and is now facing chemotherapy.

“I'm overwhelmed but I’m more worried about my son than myself,” said Karen.

Credit: Jeremy Hoskinson
Jeremy and his mother Karen

Jeremy learned last month he has cancer, too. While on a follow-up appointment with his mom, her oncology doctor raised the concern that Jeremy may have a genetic variation that Karen has, which makes certain cancers more probable.

Jeremy had a lump in his upper chest, and within days of that warning and advice to get checked out, a CT scan found 28 enlarged lymph nodes, some as big as lemons. A biopsy showed cancer.

“It definitely felt like a gut punch, just especially because of everything that's happened the prior year; everything's going on with my mom, and I just really wanted to be there for her,” said Jeremy.  "And then it's like, OK, we were hoping this year was going to be better but then all of a sudden you have got a few setbacks yourself.”

“We just looked at each other and we started bawling because we didn't know what kind of cancer," said Melissa. "We didn't know if he was gonna be here next year for the holidays, is he gonna be here to watch our new baby grow up?"

Credit: KGW
Melissa and Jeremy Hoskinson with their daughter Emmarie

They learned this week that Jeremy has Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, which has a strong survival rate. But like for his mom, the costs of treatment are their new reality.

The family needs assistance for all they're going through right now. They’ve set up a GoFundMe to assist with all the costs not covered by health insurance or Karen’s Medicare coverage.

“It's just when you don't anticipate something like this happening, and who does, it's all the little things that add up and it just becomes this huge burden on top of already facing a health battle,” said Melissa.

The road ahead runs uphill, full of worries about making ends meet, and keeping this big family intact and happy. The Hoskinson’s are buoyed by their children, raging in age from three months to 13-years-old.

Credit: Hoskinson family
Melissa and Jeremy Hoskinson and their children

And they have hope. Karen’s hope for her son? 

"It's kind of the same thing that I wanted when I had my first round of cancer, was to watch him grow up get married and have grandkids, so I’m hoping that for him,” she said. 

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