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A Positive Outlook on life no matter what


The Hickmans are what the Amanda Ranch is all about.

Here is Their Story

We complain about the most trivial things: “The drive-thru is so slow,” “My kids are too loud,” “My husband isn’t helping at home,” or “My wife is too busy to spend time with me.” Some people are consumed with petty jealousy and foolish envy, while others harbor bitterness and cling to unforgiveness. Regardless of how bad we think we have it, there is always someone whose struggles go beyond even our worst day.  

One such person is Cassie Hickman. She lives with her husband Ray and three young daughters in north Florida. A few years ago, she was diagnosed with a rare illness called mitochondrial disease, a debilitating condition where the inability of the body’s cells to work efficiently affects the body’s necessary functions in various ways. For Cassie, the disease has drastically affected her entire body.  

One of Cassie’s most difficult struggles from the disease is with her GI system. She is unable to drink any liquid or eat any food without vomiting, and even today, she is still battling constant nausea. Doctors have discovered the nausea to be a neurological symptom of the disease. This symptom will be a chronic, lifelong condition that Cassie must endure. Because of the constant nausea and vomiting, she has lost 130 pounds over the past few years. Over time, her stomach has become paralyzed, prompting doctors to remove her entire stomach. Cassie relies on liquid nutrition through a feeding tube and will do so for the rest of her life.  

In addition to this encumbering condition, Cassie has endured over a dozen surgeries in the past few years because of how mitochondrial disease has attacked her entire body. Due to unexplainable ruptured discs in her neck, Cassie underwent spinal fusion surgery. Her gallbladder has been removed, and she has had to have a full hysterectomy. Doctors have discovered that she also has pancreatic agenesis, a rare congenital anomaly where the pancreas has failed to completely develop. Cassie’s pancreas is approximately one-twelfth the size of a normal pancreas. This discovery led to yet another surgery, this time to repair some of the pancreatic enzyme ducts. In February 2024, Cassie underwent surgery for a second permanent feeding tube.  

Overall, Cassie astounds those around her with her positive outlook and undeniable inner strength. Her old-fashioned grit and resilience are a testament to her grandmother who helped to rear her. It is important to Cassie that she does all she can, despite her limitations, as she strives to be a good mom to her children and a good wife to Ray.  

Ray has been married to Cassie for eighteen years. He feels the immense pressure to provide for Cassie and his girls as the sole breadwinner. He works tirelessly, 10 to 12-hour days, as an inside sales executive in commission-only sales. Motivated by caring for his family and by giving Cassie the best healthcare possible, Ray remains one of his company’s top sales producers through hard work, tenacity, and God’s hand of blessing. 

Together, Cassie and Ray have never sought pity or sympathy from others through these life-altering trials. They understand that God has allowed them to survive all they have endured. They are relying on His strength to carry them through the valleys ahead.  

The Hickman Family is just one example of why The Amanda Ranch is needed and necessary. Their story is why we do what we do. This is why we are proud and honored to host the Hickman family in Summer 2024 for a week at the Ranch! 

How You Can Help

While we know that Cassie is a fighter, please pray with us that her health will be stable enough to allow her to travel with her family to the Ranch. 

If you or anyone you know would like to help sponsor the Hickman family’s trip to The Amanda Ranch, please use the link below and list your donation as “The Hickman Family.” 

Pray for god's hand of healing and guidance for this precious family.

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By Partnering With The Amanda Ranch, Individuals & Families Can Visit For Free

The generous donations of our supporters allow people to visit the ranch for a time of rest after a loss or trial to begin the healing process. Time can stand still for a moment for these individuals allowing them to process what happened and begin to move forward.

With The Amanda Ranch being a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, all donations are tax-deductible.

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