Redbank Alumni Pull Together to Help Ailing Classmate

| February 27, 2021

54736510_1613689677482714_rCLARION CO., Pa. (EYT) – Alumni from the Redbank Valley High School class of 1991 have pulled together to help a classmate coping with inoperable cancer.

Redbank Valley alumnus Shawn Hogan, who currently resides with family in the East Brady area, is an Army veteran and a single father to a four-year-old son, Wyatt.

Hogan is also currently battling inoperable stage four cancer.

According to his friend and former classmate, Eva Dean, the cancer began in his colon and has now spread to the liver, bile duct, lymph nodes, surrounding tissues, and lung.

“We lost touch for a bit after high school but reconnected over Facebook. I knew he had cancer, but had no idea it was as advanced as it is until he recently posted a picture of himself on Facebook, so I reached out to him,” Dean told exploreClarion.com.

She soon found out that that Hogan has been receiving chemotherapy for 15 months and has been unable to work since October, and the disability he’s been approved for won’t start until April.

“He had also put his Harley up for sale to help cover his bills,” Dean noted.

“I know there are a lot of expenses that go along with that (cancer treatments), so I wanted to do something to help and I knew our classmates would want to help, too.”

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Dean then decided to reach out to some other classmates from their graduating class at Redbank Valley. Although it started with just a few people, it quickly grew.

“Before I knew it, 74 of our classmates from 30 years ago were in this group message offering prayers, money, gift cards, special experiences for Shawn and Wyatt to make memories with. I just couldn’t believe it.”

Dean noted that considering the size of the class, it was amazing how many people pulled together.

“A lot of people I haven’t seen since graduation, but when I messaged a few that Shawn was sick, they kept adding classmates to the chat (group) until there were 74 out of, I believe, 111 of our classmates in the chat coordinating donations and prayers. It’s brought us back together in a sense.”

Dean then set up a GoFundMe fundraiser to help Hogan with his financials needs, from food and clothing, to transportation costs to and from Pittsburgh and Butler for treatments, and more.

According to Dean, within the first 24 hours of setting up the fundraiser, they had reached their first goal of raising $5,000.00.

“I was so emotional, and when I told Shawn, he was as well. I told him that we’re still a family even after all of these years.”

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Dean noted that one classmate, who is currently in the Navy and about to leave for a few weeks, also said that when he gets back home, he’d like to look into buying Hogan’s Harley.

“How many people can say that people they knew 30 years ago would step up like that. I’m just so proud and so amazed.”

Dean said that all of the support is helping Hogan more than just financially.

“He’s getting to see how many people love him and care for him even after all these years. It really is a testimony of what a great guy he is and the impact he’s made on us all.”

Dean and some of the other class of 1991 alumni are also planning to have a special Zoom call with Hogan on February 28.

“We are planning to have a Zoom meeting with him on Sunday, so we can send him some love and share some memories. Shawn is really looking forward to it, and so are we.”

In the meantime, the GoFundMe fundraiser is well on its way to reaching the next goal level, having reached $8,550.00 as of 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, February 27, of the current $10,000.00 goal.


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