Lane Goodwin's legacy lives on

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Reporter - Jason Hibbs
Photojournalist - Mason Watkins

PADUCAH, Ky.---A brave young man's more than two year battle with cancer ended last night but a local event created to encourage him will go on as planned, only with a different focus.  Now the goal is to make sure 13-year-old Lane Goodwin is never forgotten, and to help his family pay for medical bills.

When he was just ten years old, the Beech Grove, Kentucky boy was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of childhood cancer that attacks the muscles.  After months of chemo and radiation treatments Lane lost his battle at the age of 13.

During his fight, his parents created the "Thumbs Up For Lane Campaign" where folks across the world, including plenty of celebrities, gave a thumbs to support him.

A family friend told Local 6 she told me she doesn't know how much Lane's parents owe in medical bills, she hasn't asked.   While they did have medical insurance, many of Lanes procedures were experimental and not covered.  Plus, his parents quit their jobs to be with their son. 

She says right now the best thing we can do is help them financially and make sure lane's dying wish of raising awareness and curing childhood cancer is fulfilled.  That's where a local volunteer comes in.

In 2011 Sharon Franklin was in a drug recovery center trying to save her own life, that's when she met Lane Goodwin who was visiting to encourage the patients as he too was trying to save his life.

"It just touched my heart, I just had a special place for him in my heart," Franklin said.

Two years later, Sharon is still clean and working at Texas Roadhouse.  She never forgot Lane and checks Lane's Facebook page every day.

"I feel so close to him, I really do," Franklin said.

That's why she wanted to return the favor by setting up a fundraiser at work, hoping Lane could see all the thumbs up first hand, but then she heard from Lane's mom.

"She message me back and said it wasn't likely he'd be able to make it," Franklin said.

To sick to leave home, and in the care of hospice, Franklin decided she'd take the thumbs up pictures and send them to Lane.

"A scrapbook or something so he's seeing what we did for him," Franklin said.

But last night she got the news she dreaded;  Lane was gone.

"It broke my heart, because I was here, I was working last night," Franklin said.

And while Lane will never get to see the fundraiser pictures from his bed, she hopes he'll see those thumbs up from the sky.

"He'll see it, he'll see it," Franklin said.

A Goodwin family spokesperson says they are deeply touched by all of Franklin's hard work and all the money raised this weekend will go toward paying medical bills.

Lane's family created the "Lane Goodwin Childhood Cancer Foundation," they're focusing on funding research to find a cure for all types of childhood cancers.  They're currently working on getting a 501c3 status, so donations will be tax deductible.

The benefit for Lane Goodwin's family is this Sunday from 11 am to 10 pm. at Paducah's Texas Roadhouse.  Ten percent of sales will go to the Goodwin family.

There's also a silent auction, all proceeds from the auction will go to the family.

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