Giving a thumbs up: Kentucky family faces heartache, relies on positivity

Celebrities and organizations give Lane Goodwin a thumbs up as a way to show their support for the 13-year-old fighting cancer. || Photo courtesy of

Lane Goodwin, a 13-year-old boy from Beech Grove, Ky., is battling alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare, aggressive form of cancer for the third time. Goodwin was first diagnosed March 4, 2010 with stage III alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, after which he endured 21 treatments of radiation and 41 weeks of chemotherapy.

On Dec. 30, 2010 Goodwin’s scans were found clear. He was then required to have scans every three months for the next five years. On July 22, 2011, Goodwin relapsed and doctors found a tumor on his neck and left leg. The next month scans showed Goodwin had 13 tumors on his bones. After a brief period of remission Goodwin again relapsed on May 8.

Upon learning of his relapse, Goodwin was given two choices. He could receive low doses of chemotherapy to slow the cancer’s growth while allowing him to be as active as possible, or he could endure a large number of high-dose chemotherapy sessions in an effort to exterminate the cancer from his body. Goodwin chose the high-dose chemotherapy sessions and has continued to undergo the treatments until Sept. 14 when he suffered a series of seizures as a result of the cancer spreading to his brain.

“They were 10 minutes away from putting him in a medically induced coma because the seizures wouldn’t stop and then they just stopped and now here we are,” his mother, Angie Goodwin, told WFIE Channel 14 news. “He’s getting up out of bed. He’s walking.”

The Goodwins said he has good and bad days. What may start as a great day with him eating breakfast and maybe even getting to go outside with some friends can quickly transform to a terrifying afternoon of seizures. The Goodwins are appreciating every moment they have, as they are on borrowed time.

“We’re blessed he’s still here because we didn’t think we’d be here today,” his mother said.

As community members, complete strangers and celebrities rally to Lane’s cause, his family appreciates the outpouring of support.

Just last Friday, Lane’s Facebook page, Prayers for Lane Goodwin, reached Lane’s dream of 100,000 likes, and has been flooded with pictures of people giving Lane a thumbs up.

“The Thumbs Up for Lane” campaign originated with Lane’s own pictures that his mother took and posted on Facebook. In every picture Lane gave the camera a smile and a thumbs up, showing his always positive attitude. After seeing Lane’s constant smiles and thumbs up, the campaign was born.

Photo courtesy of Instagram

Now people all over the state, nation and even world are stepping up to the plate in support of the Goodwin family. As thousands of thumbs up pictures, offers of encouragement and donations flood the Prayers for Lane Goodwin page, the Goodwin family has been awed by so many supporters.

“Our family still can’t wrap our minds around this! (Lane) has been on local and national news channels everywhere. We have seen thumbs up pictures from all over the world! I asked Lane yesterday why he thought all of this was happening and he said, ‘Mom it’s what we always prayed for. This will bring awareness and a cure!’” Lane’s mother said via her Prayers for Lane Goodwin Facebook page.

The family is continuing to pray for a miracle as Lane battles cancer and shows the world what a true fighter is.

Learn more about Lane’s story and how to contribute to his cause at or

 Story by Shannon MacAllister, Staff writer

3 Comments on "Giving a thumbs up: Kentucky family faces heartache, relies on positivity"

  1. Prayer go to lane! <3

  2. Brandy Worley | October 11, 2012 at 3:32 am |

    What an amazing little boy!! Praying for you and your family daily.

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