13-year-old Facebook sensation Lane Goodwin passed away at the age of 13 from a rare form of cancer. Despite his treatment struggles, however, the brave young boy put up an admirable fight that inspired thousands.
The young boy, from Beech Grove, Kentucky, passed away from Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma on Wednesday night, according to an announcement on his Facebook page, which added that Goodwin, who loved fishing and soccer, had “gained his angel wings.”
Goodwin’s Facebook page had 369,000 likes as of Thursday morning, including University of Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari, who was among the many who expressed their condolences to the young boy’s family. Calipari tweeted, “Let’s all give one more thumbs up for Lane.”
Lane Goodwin was first diagnosed with the rare form of cancer in 2010. He finished chemotherapy treatments late in 2010, but had a relapse less than a year later. The Thumbs-up for Lane campaign began as a way to encourage the young boy and his family, but soon grew into a worldwide sensation on social media.
The 13-year-old boy ended up with followers on his Facebook page that included country music stars, athletes, politicians, and even Ernie Brown, the cable TV star also known as “The Turtleman,” who was Lane’s favorite celebrity.
Brown spoke on Thursday of meeting Lane for the first time a weeks ago. The young boy showed him his room, which was filled with pictures of Turtleman.” Brown recalled:
“We sat there and talked and talked and just had a good old time. We got up and did the ‘Turtleman’ dance until he got worn out. People really looked up to him. He sure made his mark in the world and he’ll never be forgotten.”
Lane’s family also issued a statement about the young boy, remembering his “beautiful smile,” as well as his Christian faith. The family added:
“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.”
Funeral services for Lane Goodwin will take place on Monday and will be streamed live on the internet for his Facebook fans.