Lane Goodwin Story Displays the Power of Social Media
In between memes, some e-cards, and venom from those on both the left and right of the political spectrum, a young boy in Beech Grove, Kentucky has united friends, family, and total strangers has he fights for his life.
13-year-old Lane Goodwin was diagnosed with stage four Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma in March of 2010. The most common soft tissue tumor in children, Alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma is a cancerous (malignant) tumor of the muscles that are attached to the bones. It's cause is unknown.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine's website states that while aggressive treatment of the cancer is necessary, "most children with rhabdomyosarcoma will achieve long-term survival", depending "on the specific type of tumor, its location, and the amount that has spread." Certainly a welcome ray of hope for Lane and his family.
That ray was intensified in December 2010 when after 28 radiation treatments and 41 weeks of chemotherapy, Lane's scans came back clear and he was scheduled to return every three months for scans to make sure the cancer didn't come back. Unfortunately that wasn't the case as a scan in July 2011 revealed tumors in his neck and leg. Less than a month later, a PET scan revealed 13 tumors in his bones, followed by another relapse in May of this year.
Shortly after his original diagnosis, Lane's mother started the Prayers for Lane Goodwin Facebook page, presumably to keep family and friends up-to-date on his progress. Through "likes" and "shares" of his mother's posts and pictures, the page has "gone viral", accumulating nearly 56,000 likes in just over two years. The page has also been used to promote fundraisers aimed at helping cover medical costs. This is how I first discovered Lane's story.
I noticed about a week ago that a cousin of mine had changed her profile picture to a yellow ribbon with Lane's name across it. From there I noticed other Facebook friends and family liking updates and photos from Lane's Facebook page. Co-workers were jumping on board as well, taking pictures of themselves along with their family and friends giving Lane a "thumbs up" to show their support. As more and more of these posts showed up in my news feed, I decided to look into Lane's story a little deeper.
As the extremely blessed father of two healthy, young children, reading through the chronicles of Lane's journey has been both uplifting and heart-wrenching. The joy of clear scans followed by the heartbreak of a persistent disease that continued to take a toll on his young body reminds me that I need to cherish every moment I spend with my kids, even those where they're not on their best behavior.
Most recently, the posts have indicated that doctors in Nashville have done all they can and on Tuesday, Lane was sent back home to Beech Grove where he will be supervised by Hospice care. Despite the diagnosis that his journey may be coming to an end, it appears, through status updates as recently as Thursday morning, that Lane is staying unbelievably strong.
As the status updates continue, so do the number of likes the page receives. In the 30 or so minutes it's taken me to write this story, the number of likes has increased by over one thousand. Proof that while at times social media can divide even the closest of friends, it also has the phenomenal ability to bring people together.
"Team Lane" t-shirts, designed by Lane himself, are available for purchase to help raise money for his continued care, and a fundraiser will also take place at Rockhouse Pizza in Robards, Kentucky. Information on both can be found on the Facebook page.
To Lane himself, if you have the chance to read this, I'd like to extend thoughts and prayers on behalf of the entire staff here at 106-1 KISS-FM to you. Though we've never met, from what I've seen you have displayed more courage and bravery than most adults I know throughout this entire ordeal. Stay strong, young man.