On October 27th, I received a phone call I never thought I would get. As my phone rang I noticed the name Brother David light up on my cell. Brother David is the Associate Pastor of Mill Creek Baptist Church in St. Augustine and a very close friend of the Goodall family.
Building a Difference has been following the Goodall family for some time now for an upcoming special documentary of Kenny Goodall and his family’s struggles after he was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). His wife Karen was having a very difficult time taking care of Kenny and their six children in a small 3-bedroom home. Builders Care partnered with ICI Homes to expand the size of their home so Kenny could spend his remaining days in peace knowing his family would be taken care of after he had passed.
But the story doesn’t end there. Three days after they received their new home, the oldest son Kollin was diagnosed with Leukemia, and the family spent the next week in the hospital taking care of him. At the family’s request, we continued to document their story. Kenny soon passed, and Kollin continued to fight his disease, but the cancer had come back a second time. After a successful bone marrow transplant and ninety-nine days of full recovery, the family was finally ready to move forward with their new lives…which brings us back to the phone call I received from Brother David.
With a very broken voice, he shared the news that Kollin’s Leukemia has come back again and this time terminal. There was nothing the doctors can do. They gave Kollin only a few weeks left to live.
After a very dreadful conversation, I put my head into my hands and began to weep. Throughout the special time shooting with the family, I have become very close to and fond of the Goodall family. I stopped what I doing and immediately drove out to the family’s home. For the entire forty-five minute drive I continued to ask God, “Why.” The truth was I didn’t need to know reasons why. I just needed to know that I loved them and desperately wanted to do something.
When I arrived, the home was filled. Kollin was surrounded by friends and family on the couch, and Karen was surrounded by the same. After a brief time of visiting, I walked outside with Karen and asked, “Karen, do you and Kollin want me to finish telling your story; to give Kollin a chance to share his experiences to help others like him and more importantly to you to help bring closure to this entire experience?” She look down for a moment and wiped her eyes…and said ‘Yes.’
That evening, Kollin and the rest of his family discussed it and all agreed. Kollin wanted his story told along side his father’s…and that’s what I promised him I would do. “The Goodall Family Story” will include Kollin’s struggles with Leukemia and how he is going to spend his remaining days.
Please keep this family in prayer as they move forward with some of the most difficult and heartbreaking times of their lives.