Group Photo

About Will

Will Alexander Goodale was born January 7, 2005 at Sparrow Hospital, Lansing, Michigan.  The only child to Ronda and Shane Goodale, he was a healthy and happy baby. 

Will attended the Radmoor Montessori School in Okemos, Michigan for pre-K and kindergarten.  Known for his manners, smile and confidence, he was a joy to all.  This is his teacher describing him at his Celebration of Life.

He began first-grade in Haslett school distract instead of Okemos, where he lived.  He excelled in math, being a member of the math club, and spelling. His parents were yet to realize how great the move to Haslett School District would be.

Second grade moved him to a new building, in Haslett, Ralya Elementary. His parents were happy to see that he was doing well and gaining new friends. He loved and grew attached to his second-grade teacher, Mrs. Richardson.  Mrs. Tegreeny, his principal would later describe him:  

At Ralya he continued to do well academically but began having too much fun in school. Ronda and I were called a couple times to talk with him and the principal. During this year, he fell in love with history and could not read enough history books. He was engulfed in the “Who is/Who was” books.  He could read a new book and recite names, dates and events based on that reading.

Third grade was another great year. He again had a great teacher, Mr. Penn, who taught him a lot of history.  He grew more aware of social and cultural issues and began reading books on those figures that changed society.  During recess he was always outside playing kickball. This year was especially exciting because his class took a field trip to Michigan Historical Center.  He was fascinated in touching the things that he had read of in books.

During a night out with his parents, as his dad is pulled over by a police officer, Will decides that he wants to be a police officer when he grows up. He was fascinated with police officers from this point forward, always watching the Cop shows and wanting to learn as much as possible about them.

Fourth grade was another great year. This year, he again excelled academically and now was learning Spanish. His success on the kickball field earned him the name, “The King of Kickball". He was excited to learn that he was going to get the 5th grade teacher that he had already bonded with, Mrs. Bennett.  This is the letter that he wrote to her.  Unfortunately, he would never have her as a teacher.

In June, 2015, he began having headaches and getting sick in the mornings. This was unlike him, having a clean bill of health since birth.  After taking him to his primary care doctor and getting a clearance, the issues persisted.  Then after a night at the park with his dad playing catch, he lost his baseball glove which he had complained was not fitting him correctly.  The next day, he and his parents went to the store to pick out another mitt to allow him to finish the baseball season, yet Will complained the new glove did not fit either.  When asked what the issue was, he said that he could not straighten his fingers out all the way.  Then the world came crashing down, considering that he had stumbled a couple times the past few weeks because he dragged his right foot and now he couldn’t straighten out his fingers on his right hand.  Stroke?  They rushed to Sparrow Hospital where a CT scan was performed which came back clear.  They wanted to perform an MRI but he would have to go to Motts Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor for that. 

The next morning, the MRI was performed that discovered a tumor growing on his brain stem.  It was indicated at that time that his tumor was a DIPG, which is the fastest growing children’s tumor and that there was not a cure and he may only have two months to live.

Not taking that as an answer, his parents researched that tumor and took him to Dana Farber in Boston for potential treatment.  After a few weeks there, he was taken to Lurie’s Children’s Hospital in Chicago to begin a clinical trial.  The trial was to consist of six weeks of radiation and then he would begin the chemotherapy.  Because his tumor was intermingled with his brain stem, resection was not possible.  But, unfortunately, the radiation was too draining of his strength and spirit.  He left November 2, 2015.

Known for his manners, love of life and huge smile, he will not be forgotten.

Anyone wanting to pay tribute can visit the tree planted in the south-east corner Ralya Elementary playground. Or a game of kickball can be played on the kickball field behind Ralya Elementary.

Things that Will liked:
Butterfinger Candy bars
Reading, Math and History
His dad’s mashed potatoes
X-box video games - Username:  Likeabossman
Police Officers
ICEES and Slurpee’s
YMCA summer camps
Driving his golf cart
Lemon Heads
Basketball, Baseball and Tennis