Athens, Ala. – In emergency situations, we depend on first responders to help us. Many times, first responders are unsung heroes. They simply do their job. On March 4th, one of those unsung heroes passed away, Connie Green. Connie was a retired paramedic at Athens-Limestone Hospital. One of Connie’s friends described her as having “a heart of gold.” Friend, Wendy Wright, said, “Connie was loved her family and loved her ‘kids.’ She was loyal, she was kind, and would give you the shirt off her back or her last twenty bucks. She always listened, she always gave advice, she never had a problem telling you like it was if she needed to do it.”
Right now, because of issues with insurance, the community is coming together to take care of Connie’s funeral expenses. A GoFundMe has been set up to give people a way to contribute. If you would like to help, go to the link and donate.
Ranburne, Ala. – It was July 2016 when the Welch family found out that Nicholas would need a new heart. Nicholas Welch, a student at Ranburne High School, who loves football and is an avid bowler, has shown the strength, determination, and courage that many never find. In October, Nicholas was able to leave the Ronald McDonald House to get a much needed break. On his first trip away, Nicholas wanted to go back to Ranburne High to see his friends and teammates. There he received a hero’s welcome as students gathered around Nicholas to show their support.
After his visit in October, students created video after wishing Nicholas all the best as he waited for a new heart.
In November, Nicholas did receive his donor heart at Children’s of Alabama. He has had a difficult time and has been sick ever since the implant. Nicholas’s mother, Teresa, has been by her son’s side night and day. In Athens, Alabama, we had Hunter Towe who went through a similar experience. His mother, Sherry, was with him night and day as well. As with Sherry Towe, Nicholas’s mom has also now lost her job. Teresa’s sister-in-law, Carrie Francom, decided to set up a GoFundMe to help with expenses. Beyond GoFundMe, others have worked hard to raise money for the family in other ways.
As for Nicholas’s current condition, his mother posted the following on their Facebook page called, “Nicholas’s Heart” on Friday: “Nicholas is on a lot medication…He had a bronch done today. The results show some infection but the consensus is that his heart just isn’t functioning again. So as of now the plans are to do a cath Monday and then, discussions of what they feel will be in his best interest being VAD or something else.” As the family faces this difficult time, let’s spread the word to pray for the Welch family. Of course, the more people who know what is going on, the more people can help by praying and donating.
Personally, I found out about Nicholas’s situation because my friend, Sherry Towe, shared the fundraiser. That’s how it works. We see a need and we help by getting the story out. Now that you’ve seen Nicholas’s story, I hope you’ll take a minute to share this with your friends and neighbors. There’s no doubt that Nicholas is getting the best care through Children’s of Alabama and the Ronald McDonald House. They are both a tremendous asset to our state and we appreciate the services they provide to families, like the Welch’s, across our state. There are many people praying for Nicholas and ready to help any way they can. Nicholas has an army of supporters. You can mark it down.
Here is the GoFundMe link to help the Welch family.
Atlanta, Ga. – Kerry Goode is a person who is living to inspire, motivate, and even get you laughing. A recent post by Kerry reads, “Lord, when my time on earth is done, I pray that my living will serve as an example, both good and the bad.” Kerry, a 1983 graduate of Hazelwood High School, played for The University of Alabama under the direction of Coach Ray Perkins from 1983-1986 and Bill Curry in 1987. In the 1988 NFL draft, Kerry was selected in the seventh round by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
It was August 11th, 2015, when Kerry Goode received the news that he had ALS. It had been only one year earlier when Kerry accepted the “Ice Bucket Challenge” for his friend and former Alabama teammate, Kevin Turner. Turner had been diagnosed with ALS four years earlier in 2010. Kevin Turner passed away this past March.
The Goode’s are no strangers to adversity. Kerry’s brother, Clyde, passed away in 2012 as he battled a rare form of cancer, one of Kerry’s other brothers, Chris, battled prostate cancer, and Kerry’s mother is a two-time survivor of breast cancer. It’s not just family that has rallied around Kerry as he has faced this challenge. As Kerry says, “Family isn’t always blood. It’s the people in your life who want you in theirs. The ones who accept you for who you are. The ones who would do anything to see you smile, and who loves you no matter what.” As he did for his friend Kevin, Kerry wanted to touch others lives through his challenge. That is how the Goode Foundation came to be. The mission statement of the Goode Foundation is “To support, assist, and empower patients and families affected by ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), and inspire the pursuit of treatment alternatives and research for a cure.” We had Kerry Goode on Applebee’s Tailgate Talk to talk about the Goode Foundation back in October 2015. You can listen to that interview here.
Competitors compete and Kerry is a competitor. As Kerry said in an interview with AL.com, “If you’re a competitor, the fight will come back. It’s like, ‘Hey, we’re going to do everything we need to do to fight this thing. It’s what you’ve got to do. You can’t sit curled up, balled up in a corner and let it go.” As a player, Kerry was surrounded by teammates on the field. It’s a different time and a different field of battle, but Kerry is still surrounded by a group of teammates who are fighting for him. Many events and fundraisers have been held to support Kerry is his personal fight. Those who would like to help Kerry Goode with expenses associated with his fight can go to his GoFundMe page and donate right now. As Kerry continues with his fight, he says, “I’m placing God on my side, and I’m in it to win it.” Kerry Goode is going to win it the Goode way. You can “Mark It Down”.