I’ve never met the Goodwin family. They live in Beech Grove, Kentucky.
About a month ago, a friend and neighbor of mine posted about Lane Goodwin’s story in her facebook status. Something about her post caught my attention. I followed the link to the Goodwin’s facebook page. His family had created the page to tell his story and ask for a simple gesture, a ‘thumbs up’ from anyone willing to send their son a little encouragement. Average people and celebrities alike posted pictures giving that thumbs up to let Lane know they were rooting for him. It was uplifting that so many strangers would come together to let a little boy know that he mattered. It was inspiring to see so many people pause in their lives and encourage his parents.
You see, in March of 2004, Lane was diagnosed with Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma Stage IV. From what I can tell, it’s a rare and aggressive cancer affects only about one in a million kids. I joined his story on his third bout with the disease, after doctors had discovered over 13 tumors in his bones. But in what I would discover would be true Lane fashion, he chose to fight and draw attention to the cause of battling cancer for a cure. His family and friends organized fund raisers and designed t-shirts and spread the word. Cure was the goal.
I think most parents could relate to his story, if they invested the time and tears. My oldest son is about the same age. I thank God that I’ve never walked the road the Goodwins have walked. To read the posts of his sweet mama tearfully asking for prayers for a cure, for comfort on his worst days, just tore my heart in two. Lane became a part of my life.
I ‘liked’ their facebook page and resolved to follow the news feed. And I’m not being dramatic when I use the word ‘resolved’, because it would have been easier to walk away than to invest in the emotions that following his journey would bring. But I told myself that his mama didn’t have a choice to walk this road. The least I could do is take the time to pray for Lane, for his family, for a miracle, every day. Sometimes I’d post a note of encouragement. Most of all, I really just prayed that Lane, that his family, would experience the soul-saving love of Jesus in a real and profound way.
On Sunday afternoon, I couldn’t hold back the tears. It was obvious that Lane’s time with his family was drawing close to the end. He was having visions and was experiencing all sorts of horrible symptoms. The desperation in his mama’s posts grew. I wished I would login and discover a miracle.
Today I did.
You see, even though Lane passed away last night, his family got to experience a miracle that not many of us get to experience. This morning, “Lane Goodwin” was the #10 topic trending on yahoo. His story is being read by people all around the world! I’ve read dozens and dozens of posts from complete strangers who are sharing how this little boy’s life made a difference in theirs. What more could a parent hope for, that their child would change lives?
I’m sure it’s only a consolation prize at the moment, but the Goodwins can rest assured that Lane lived his life to touch others. I have no doubt that the awareness and funds they have raised to cure childhood cancer will make a difference.