A life lost, a legacy carried on

OKEMOS, Mich. (WLNS) – 10 year-old Will Goodale had a smile that would light up any room.

Life always felt like an adventure for him…one that his mom Ronda and dad Shane say Will never took for granted.

“Will was a lover of life, everything he liked, everything he did he enjoyed,” said Will’s father Shane Goodale.

“He always wanted to help, he was one of the first ones to raise his hand and say me or I know the answer!” Will’s mother Ronda Goodale stated.

It wasn’t until June 2015…baseball season was nearly over and the Goodale’s world was turned upside down.

“He had started to get headaches in the morning and he was getting sick,” Ronda said.

“We go to a sporting goods store, I pick out the right fitting mitt for him and for some reason he couldn’t straighten his fingers out all the way,” Shane added.

“We knew something was wrong and we rushed him to the emergency room,” Ronda stated.

Doctors discovered that will had a tumor in his brain…it was stage 4 cancer.

The devastating news left Ronda and Shane heartbroken, in disbelief.

“How did I not see that and…how scared is he feeling because I know how scared I was but I had to hold that in,” said Ronda.

“It’s my son, he’s ten years old…it doesn’t happen,” Shane uttered.

After months of tests, road trips to hospitals out of state and a round of radiation…nearly 5 months after being diagnosed with cancer, Will lost his life.

“It went by fast,” said Ronda.

“Me and him were buddies,” added Shane.

Since then, the outpour of community support has been overwhelming for the Goodale’s.

“The go-fund-me page…” Shane stated.

“The school had planted a tree in Will’s name,” said Ronda.

Will left a stamp on everyone’s life, including family friend Cheri Riemer.

“You just looked at him his eyes were as bright as can be and that smile lit up the room,” Riemer said.

November marked a full year Will has been gone from the Haslett community. Family and friends say he’s left an ever-lasting impression on people’s lives.

“I just feel like he’s out there, he’s out there because people love him and want to remember him,” said Ronda.

“Remember Will because he was there for everyone,” Shane added.

And it’s clear, the legacy this 10 year-old left behind…is sure to live on.

In January, a “celebration of life” will be held at Ralya Elementary school in Haslett in Will’s honor. Anyone in the community is welcome to attend.

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