By: Ashley Source
Owensboro Parent has never seen such an incredible Facebook following and showing of community support as with the Thumbs Up for Lane Goodwin movement. The “Prayers for Lane Goodwin” Facebook page jumped from about 10,000 fans on September 14 to 175,000 at the time this issue went to print. People from across this community, this state and this country have given Lane thumbs up for his fight with childhood cancer.
So when one Owensboro Parent Facebook fan asked us to move our October CoverKids to next month and feature Lane Goodwin on the cover of this month’s issue we were not surprised to see over 2,300 people agree within just a few hours.
Owensboro Parent is happy to feature Lane on our cover and share his story with our readers. We were very thankful to Angie Goodwin, Lane’s mom, who agreed to a phone interview with us during this difficult time for her family.
Thumbs Up, Lane, from all of us here at Owensboro Parent.
One morning Lane woke up with a lump on the side of his neck. Angie and George, Lane’s parents, didn’t think much of it. Landen, Lane’s little brother, had an appointment for his kindergarten shots, so Lane tagged along to have the lump checked out. The doctor was not too worried about it and sent Lane home with some antibiotics for an infected gland. But after Lane had taken all the antibiotics, the lump was still there. In fact, it had grown.
Doctors wanted to do another round of antibiotics, but Angie, now worried for her son, demanded to see a specialist.
“You have to be an advocate for your child,” Angie said.
Lane was then sent to Methodist Hospital in Henderson, where a needle biopsy of the lump was taken. After what seemed like forever, the Goodwins received the results: stage IV Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma.
Lane immediately began 41 weeks of chemotherapy and 28 days of radiation. He completed this treatment and was cancer free until July 2011 when cancer was found in 13 areas of his bones.
Ready to again fight what the Goodwins call “the monster,” they prepared for another long battle. But this time, they were determined to give their son the best chance. They sought out a specialist in New York, who suggested a clinical trial through Vanderbilt that combined 36 weeks of chemo with a specific medication. Lane began this trial on August 11, 2011.
Six weeks into the trial, Lane’s scans were clear. But the excitement the Goodwin family felt was short lived. By the time the trial was complete on May 8, 2012, some of the cancerous areas were beginning to come back. Lane began daily chemo and ten days of radiation to a specific tumor on his leg. But the monster continued to grow.
On Friday, September 14, 2012, Lane had a sedated MRI to measure the growth of the cancer. After he woke up, Lane wanted crab legs and scallops, one of his favorite meals.
The Goodwins took their sons to Joe’s Crab Shack. After all, Angie says, they live in each moment. If their boys want something, they try to make it happen. Life is too short.
Before Lane’s dinner could make it to the table, he began having seizures. Angie and George got their son to the floor and held his head and feet as best they could. An ambulance arrived and transported Lane back to Vanderbilt.
Lane was unresponsive for over two days days before he woke up. According to Angie, when he did wake up and saw his doctor for the first time Lane smiled the biggest smile, shook the doctor’s hand and said, “You can’t fix it anymore.”
Battling the Monster
Lane’s many supporters are continually amazed at the strength the Goodwins have shown. But for Angie Goodwin, it’s Lane that has all the strength.
Angie says that from the beginning Lane has said, “You bring out the big guns, I’m ready to fight.”
And fight is what he has done. The Goodwins told Lane that they would take him anywhere for treatment, fight as long as he wanted.
“It’s his body,” Angie said.
And for a long time, Lane was up for the fight. He endured weeks of chemo and radiation, countless trips to Vanderbilt, sickness, fatigue and stress. But now facing his third bout with cancer, Lane is done fighting.
“He’s told me, ‘I’m ready to go to God,’” Angie said. “’Because in heaven, I will not have cancer anymore.’”
And the fact that Lane is at peace, gives his family comfort.
A Community of Support
Angie said the support she has seen for her son “has been overwhelming. We are in awe.”
Angie originally began the “Prayers for Lane Goodwin” Facebook page to keep family and friends informed of Lane’s ongoing condition. She says it has grown over the years, but the Friday after his first seizure is when it started gaining great momentum.
Any wish that Lane asked for, Facebook fans would deliver. People were more than happy to make this little boy’s wish come true.
And the Goodwins were no exception. Angie said, “We lived every day. We didn’t sit around the house and cry. We didn’t focus on the future.”
In fact, just weeks before his seizure, Lane enjoyed a family trip to Florida.
The Thumbs Up for Lane campaign has been just another incredible gesture shown to the Goodwins from people across the country and world. Celebrities like Garth Brooks, Coach John Calipari, Matchbox 20, professional athletes, community members, local teams and thousands more have all given Lane a Thumbs Up.
When Angie and George asked Lane who his favorite Thumbs Up was from, expecting the St. Louis Cardinals, his favorite team, they were shocked to hear Lane say, “My Mommy.”
And when they asked Lane about the hundreds of thousands of supporters, he simply said, “This is what’s going to find the cure.”
And although Angie says that the Goodwins are “feeling all the love,” this is what Angie wants to stress: “We’re just a little family in McLean County. We want to make people aware of childhood cancer. I would not want anyone to fight this monster… It has got to stop.”
We were so touched by Lane’s story that we wanted to find other kids in the greater Owensboro area that were also battling “the monster.” Here are as many stories as we could find. Read them. We promise they will move you. And visit their Facebook pages to find out how you can show them support.
To each of these families, thank you for sharing your stories. Owensboro Parent has been touched by each and every one of you.
Zhauntez “T-Bird” Thornton, 12 years old
After two years of an ADHD misdiagnosis, Zhauntez was finally diagnosed with an advanced brain tumor. On June 16, 2009, doctors removed the tumor from the back of his brain. Zhauntez then began eight months of treatment, including radiation, chemotherapy and three stem cell transplants. Although painful, the treatment worked, until October 2011, when another tumor was discovered, this time in the front of Zhauntez’s brain. This young boy underwent another surgery to remove the tumor and was caner free until August of this year. Doctors found that the tumors in the back and front of Zhauntez’s brain had not only returned, but had doubled in size and there was now a third tumor on the right side of his brain. Zhauntez had until recently decided to forgo treatment. The tumors have now started to affect his vision and are causing severe headaches. At the end of last month, he opted to begin chemotherapy and medication to stop the growth of the tumors. Zhauntez is a caring child who befriends everyone. He loves hanging out with his three brothers and loves sports like any young boy. Despite his pain, Zhauntez continues to play football, his favorite sport.
Support Zhauntez at his Facebook page, “Team T-Bird” Fight for Brain Cancer
Tori Trizzle, 13 years old
Stage 3 Osteogenic Sarcoma
Three days before her 13th birthday, Tori was diagnosed with stage 3 Osteogenic Sarcoma, which is a rare type of bone cancer. She started chemotherapy three days after her birthday. Five weeks before her diagnosis, Tori was in Buffalo, NY on a church trip to Niagara Falls, perfectly healthy, without any symptoms. She is typically a happy, loving and incredibly well behaved young lady. She is madly in love with country star, Luke Bryan and is quite possibly UK’s biggest fan! She spends her spare time with her friends and loves being active in the church youth group and with her church family.
Support Tori at her Facebook page, Praying for TORI
Avery Murphy, 2 years old
Acute Lympholastic Leukemia (ALL)
Avery began running a small temperature at home in the night on Sunday August 19, 2012. Like any other mom, Jamie Murphy thought it might be just a virus. By Tuesday evening Avery’s fever reached 102. Her pediatrician thought it was an ear infection and Avery went home on antibiotics. On Friday her fever was still climbing, so back to the doctor Avery went, where she tested positive for the flu. Monday morning Avery’s fever reached 104.7 and was not breaking. Avery was eventually sent to Kosair Children’s Hospital, still under the assumption the flu had just knocked Avery for a loop. Her pediatrician said that if her flu test did not come back positive, he feared it could have been leukemia. When the Murphys arrived at Kosair, the team of doctors treating Avery told them they were leaning towards a viral infection. Just to be safe doctors ordered a bone marrow aspiration that was already scheduled just to rule out Leukemia. With the results of the test complete, the doctors asked Jeremy Murphy to have seat as Jamie was holding Avery in her hospital bed. She proceeded to tell the Murphys they were shocked, but Avery did have leukemia. The next day Avery began her process of having a port placed for her chemotherapy. Avery is done with her first month of treatment and doctors will repeat a bone marrow aspiration to see if her chemotherapy is working. The doctors have told the Murphys she could be in remission as soon as the first thirty days, but her chemotherapy would continue for 3 years and then they would still follow her until she is 21 years old.
Support Avery at her Facebook page, Angels for Avery.
Lydia Haycraft, 5 years old
In October 2011, Lydia was diagnosed with metastasized Ewing’s Sarcoma (a bone cancer that spreads to soft tissue). It began in her left, upper arm and spread to her lungs. The doctors explained that 20% to 40% of people who had been diagnosed with this type of cancer lived past 5 years of diagnosis. Within a few days, a central line was placed and she began the first of fourteen chemo rounds. She has since gone through about seven central lines, multiple battles with C-Diff, and lost all of her hair. She also completed 31 days of radiation treatment to kill the tumor in her arm. She absolutely despises the “yucky” medicines, but thankfully though, compared to some children’s journeys, Lydia has truly been blessed; other than the painful encounters with C-Diff she is generally energetic, optimistic, and raring to go. Her family often tells others, if she didn’t have a baldhead, you would never know she was sick. Lydia is a mixture of a rough and tumble tomboy and a princess. She loves to be outside riding bikes, swimming, and getting dirty, but also loves to paint her nails and put on make-up. She’s very outgoing and loves to visit with people and like any 6-year-old, loves to be the center of attention!
Support Lydia at her Facebook pages, Lydia’s Wish and Love for Lydia.
Philip Lovekamp, 18 years old
Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)
Philip Lovekamp is currently a senior at Owensboro Catholic High School. Two years ago, about a month after starting his sophomore year, he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. He left Catholic High and for the rest of that school year he underwent several hospitalizations and weekly chemotherapy sessions at the children’s oncology practice associated with Kosair Children’s Hospital. He completed a few school courses that year at home through The Triplett School. After finishing treatment, he was able to rejoin his class at Catholic for his junior year, and also resumed playing soccer for OCHS. He continues with maintenance treatment, which consists of daily medications, and IV treatment every four weeks in Louisville. He will complete Maintenance in December 2013. Philip recently earned his Boy Scout Eagle Scout rank and his future looks bright. He has resumed all his normal activities and should be able to go out of town for college, as originally planned. Philip and his family thank God daily for the love and support that family and friends gave them during the trying months of intensive treatment.
Kendall Kidd, 5 years old
Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumors (PNET)
It all started the first week of August 2009 when Kendall was admitted to OMHS due to dehydration, after being sick and throwing up for days. After four days Kendall’s parents, John and Amanda, begged her doctor to run tests but he refused. Kendall was discharged and given medications for acid reflux. John and Amanda were upset because their daughter wasn’t any better. As the next week passed, more doctors visits resulted in little change. Finally the Kidds had had enough and took Kendall to the ER at OMHS. They began a series of tests, one being a CT scan, which showed a mass on Kendall’s brain. Doctors at Kosair Children’s Hospital told the Kidds that Kendall had PNET a type of brain cancer that had spread all the way down her spine. The doctors began discussing treatment, but told the Kidds there was no cure. They were told treatment would prolong her life, but Kendall was not expected to make it longer than three months. The Kidds, especially Kendall, opted to fight. Kendall immediately began chemo and after her first round of the drugs, doctors were shocked to find all of her tumors had shrunk by at least half. Five more rounds of chemo, a stem cell transplant and 31 days of radiation were administered. Today, Kendall is cancer free, but still suffers from the side effects of the treatment.
Support Kendall by contacting her parents, John and Amanda Kidd on Facebook.
Harlie Bryant, 6 years old
To look at Harlie Bryant, you would not think she is sick. Her eyes have a youthful sparkle, and her mouth a mischievous grin. And according to her mom, Lisa, Harlie is full of life and 6-year-old sass. But when Harlie had a routine eye exam to begin kindergarten last year, the Bryant family received news they never expected. The optometrist noticed Harlie had rapid eye movement, a condition she had endured for a few years, but it was the continuation of which was cause for concern. Two days later Harlie saw an ophthalmologist, who suggested a CT scan. The Bryants received the call on April Fool’s Day, but the news was no joke. The ophthalmologist told the Bryants that their daughter had a brain tumor directly behind her eyes that was the size of softball. Harlie was immediately sent to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital for the first of many MRIs. When the Bryants saw Harlie’s MRI, they were shocked to see a tumor consuming half of her brain. The tumor, an astrocytoma, or what Harlie refers to as The Brain Booger, was enclosed in Harlie’s optical nerve, affecting her carotid artery and hypothalamus. Doctors determined the first step in her treatment was to attempt to remove the tumor. After more than 10 hours in surgery, Harlie’s doctor was only able to remove about 20 percent because of its location. Chemotherapy was step two. Now, after one year of chemo, the tumor has not gotten smaller. But the doctor is just happy that it has not gotten any bigger. Just a few weeks ago, Harlie’s doctor determined to forgo chemotherapy after an MRI still showed no change in the tumor. Harlie will undergo Proton Radiation Therapy next summer, which will give her an 80 percent change of survival.
Support Harlie at her Facebook page, Hope for Harlie.
Jaycee Young, 3 years old
Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)
Jaycee was diagnosed on April 1, 2011, just a month and four days before her second birthday. After receiving the devastating news that their daughter had cancer, the Youngs spent three days in ICU with Jaycee, then another two weeks in Kosair Children’s Hospital. When the day came that they got to go home they were excited and terrified. But with prayers and support from their family, friends and church, they knew it would all be ok. They still have a year of treatment to go, but no one would ever know that their beautiful daughter had this awful disease called cancer.
Support Jaycee by contacting her mother, Cindy Rose Young on Facebook.
Xavior “X-Man” Hall, 7 years old
Acute Lympholastic Leukemia (ALL)
On April 10, 2010, almost a month after his 5th birthday, Xavior was diagnosed. On April 9th he was rushed to Kosair Children’s Hospital by ambulance where they immediately began treatment. A spinal tap and bone marrow biopsy resulted with a positive leukemia diagnosis. A few days later a “port,” which is a device like a catheter, was inserted in his chest. This connected to the main artery in his heart to feed chemotherapy through his body. This method enabled the medicine to work faster. Xavior takes treatment through this port every month at Kosair and a chemo pill every night before he goes to bed. He was in the hospital for 22 days before he finally was able to go home. He has been in and out of the hospital several times since then due to infections or viruses. But Xavior has been lucky and has not been really sick from the chemo treatments. As of his last treatment in August 2012, doctors told him to expect chemo treatments through July 2013. That is assuming no changes or setbacks occur between now and then. Xavior did have to miss out on his 1st year of kindergarten, but he is able to go to school now. Xavior is a happy, busy boy and can’t wait to get this ordeal over with and behind him.
Support Xavior at his Facebook page, Prayers for Xavior.
Emma Joy Ford, 4 years old
At first glance, Emma is just like any other four-year-old girl. You wouldn’t know it by just watching her dance to her favorite Justin Beiber song, but Emma is a little girl fighting a big disease. Emma was born with a tumor in her brain, but doctors did not discover it until Emma was two and a half. So Emma started treatments. After weeks and months of traveling to hospitals around the country, Emma received enough chemotherapy and radiation to shrink what was once a golf-ball sized tumor down to the size of a pencil eraser. Then doctors decided to operate. They removed the tumor from Emma’s brain, and she was in remission. That was until a few months ago, when they discovered Emma had relapsed. This time, it had spread further, in her brain, and now, in her spine. Emma’s life now consists of trips back and forth to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital for treatments every two weeks. Emma is ready for the day of ‘no more owies.”
Support Emma at her Facebook page, Prayer Circle for Emma Joy Ford.
CJ Hayse, 9 years old
CJ was diagnosed on July 20, 2012. CJ began to notice a mass on his lymph node. Local doctors prescribed antibiotics for what they believed to be mono or strep throat. CJ’s mom, Michelle, noticed that his tonsils began to swell. When they became so big she was afraid his airway may be cut off, she rushed her son to a hospital in Evansville. An ENT specialist performed a tonsillectomy and did a biopsy of the removed tonsils. The results came back as cancer. Currently, CJ is on his fourth round of in-patient chemotherapy at Vanderbilt. He has regular spinal taps to ensure the cancer has not spread to his bone marrow. He has also had direct chemo injected into his spine as a preventative measure. CJ is on a five-month treatment plan.
Support CJ as his Facebook page, Hope for Hayse.
Rylan Daugherty, 2 years old
When 14-month-old Rylan starting showing trouble with his balance his parents knew something was wrong. He had had problems with ear infections in the past and they thought tubes may be the answer. But when Rylan’s issues persisted after the tubes, and he began having uncontrollable, seizure-like shaking he was sent to Kosair Children’s Hospital where he had a CT scan and an MRI. A tumor at the base of his spine was discovered. Rylan underwent a 10-hour surgery, where doctors were able to remove 98 percent of the tumor. Rylan then had two rounds of chemotherapy. While Rylan is now in remission, the cancer caused Opsoclonus Myoclonus Syndrome (OMS), which is what caused his balance issue. Rylan’s mom described that when Rylan’s body tried to fight the cancer with antibodies, his wires crossed and they actually attacked his cerebellum. Because of OMS, Rylan had to re-learn how to walk and has lost the ability to talk. He now signs over 65 signs and doctors hope that he will regain his speech.
Support Rylan at his Facebook page, Pray for Rylan Daugherty.