After a three-year battle with cancer, 13-year-old Lane Goodwin from Kentucky has died. The teen gained national attention as well as over 300,000 fans on his Facebook page in support of his struggle.
Goodwin’s family issued a statement on Thursday.
“We would like to thank the community for the incredible display of human kindness over the past two and a half years,” the statement read. “Our sweet Lane had a beautiful smile. He was full of energy and loved sharks, fishing, soccer, adventure and his brother, Landen. Lane had an incredible Christian faith, and we are able to find peace in the extraordinary life he lived in his short few years.”
Suffering from a rare form of cancer called muscle-targeting Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma, Goodwin became known for his signature thumps up in photos through his Facebook fan page, Prayers for Lane Goodwin.
The public responded with overwhelming support. According to the Courier Journal, “everyone from presidential candidates to crowds at football games” were giving Lane the thumbs up and uploading the photos onto Facebook.
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Notably, country music band Little Big Town received over 20,000 “likes” in September for their thumbs up photo.
“We have been amazed and touched by the worldwide thumbs up movement in honor of Lane. Lane believed that the awareness this movement brought for childhood cancers would lead to a cure. Lane’s legacy will live on as we move forward with the commitment we made to him to find a cure,” the Goodwin family statement continues.
Hoping to either win his battle or raise as much awareness as possible, Goodwin was featured on several news shows and media outlets including the "Today Show."
Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma is a rare form of cancer with just 350 cases in the United States each year. There is currently little research for it compared to other forms of cancer, Scott Borinstein, one of Lane’s doctors at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, told the Courier Journal.
Lane’s family also announced his death on his Facebook page. He was initially diagnosed in March 2010 and relapsed twice before finally succumbing.
“At 7:53 p.m. our sweet Lane gained his Angel wings,” the post said. “Our hearts are broken but God has performed a World Wide Miracle through Lane over the past few weeks. Please continue to pray for our family especially Lane's little brother Landen.”