In 2016, when Shannon and Bill Goold noticed bruising on the ankles of their son Griffin, it was easy to chalk it up to roughhousing. Griffin has an identical twin, as well as an older brother and sister.
“With three boys, it’s rough and tumble all the time,” Shannon says.
The bruises lingered on Griffin’s ankles, and he began to complain of knee pain. Then, during church one Sunday, Shannon noticed dark bruises beneath Griffin’s eyes. The next day, lab tests revealed a rare type of leukemia called acute promyelocytic leukemia, which is a subtype of acute myeloid leukemia.
Griffin and his family arrived at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in the middle of the night.
“It was terrifying,” Shannon says, “but the moment we walked through the doors, they took care of us.”
Griffin’s treatment included five rounds of chemotherapy. He’s now done with treatment and visits St. Jude for checkups every three months.
From the start of their St. Jude journey, Griffin’s family has been dedicated to giving back to the hospital that helped save his life. In September 2016, two months after Griffin became a St. Jude patient, a host of family and friends took part in the St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer.
“We thought, ‘OK, we can all walk and we can pull Griffin in a wagon,’ so we formed a Walk/Run team,” Shannon says.
Every September, supporters from across the nation come together for the St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month to raise money for St. Jude.
Team Griffin walked in 2016 and 2017, raising approximately $5,000 for St. Jude. They plan to walk again in 2018.
“All our kids participate. From the very get-go, our family has been touched by all the hope and love and care we’ve received at St. Jude,” Shannon says. “We’re going to do whatever we can to give back. It’s our mission. I don’t take for granted that Griffin is doing well today. We know how quickly that can change.”
Take part in the 2018 St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer: visit stjude.org/together.
From Promise, Summer 2018