In early October of 2022, MTN got the chance to meet Alayna Hutchings, a Helena 7-year-old, and her parents, Danny and Mikaya. In March of 2022, Alayna was diagnosed with a tumor on her brain stem, that was mostly deemed untreatable, due to the type of tumor and where it is located.
Since then Danny and Mikaya have set their sights on finding treatment for Alayna, and trying to help her life to the fullest, and Lithia of Helena stepped in to help with one of those missions.
On Dec. 1, Alayna and her parents received a trip to Hawaii from the dealership, in an effort to help a little girl realize her dreams.
“At first, we discussed donating to the raffle and the silent auction, and we're still doing that, but in further conversation, it just didn't seem appropriate. And when you take one look at Alayna, and you see her smile, she's worth a lot more than just a donation to a raffle," said general manager Dillon Roloff. "That's how we determined hey if we can make something come true, and something that we can control, such as sending her family to Hawaii, it's exactly what we were going to do.”
The Hutchings family plan on spending part of the bitter winter soaking in the sun and enjoying the sand in Hawaii, but that's not the only traveling the Hutching family will be doing in 2023.
"Phoenix Children's Hospital, they actually gave us more hope than anybody else," said Danny Hutchings.
Shortly after MTN's previous story on Alayna and the Hutchings family, they traveled to Phoenix to meet with doctors at Phoenix Children's Hospital, where they received the best news they'd heard since Alayna's diagnosis in March.
"They said that her tumor is treatable with chemo and radiation. They're still not 100% on none of it. But, they at least gave us more hope than most of them. Instead of a 25% chance of survival, there's more, you know, 50-75%, she'll make it," said Danny. "For her age, she's so young, they don't want to start chemo and radiation at her age. So, they're just monitoring the tumor every six months, they're checking the growth of it. So when it comes down to time, if that tumor starts getting where they start getting worried about it, then they'll start chemo and radiation."
The Hutchings family previously relied on a GoFundMe campaign for their initial travel expenses to Phoenix, which is still active, but thanks to generous donations from communities all around Montana and the United States, the Hutchings family will be hosting a silent auction and raffle to help further alleviate their costs.
The event will be held at West Valley Fire Station One on Dec. 10th from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and raffle tickets can be purchased online or in-person at the event.