Two Coffee County girls have come up with a selfless way to help a schoolmate battling leukemia.
Six-year-old Caden Goodrich was diagnosed with leukemia in June 2012, just before he was to begin kindergarten at Hillsboro Elementary School.
“It was heartbreaking to find out,” Jeff Goodrich, Caden's father told Nashville's News 2. “It was pretty rough to realize what was going on.”
Since the diagnosis, the Goodrich family has been making weekly trips to the Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt for treatment.
The family says the trips are exhausting and expensive.
“Just regular bills and stuff going on,” Angela Goodrich said.
Jeff Goodrich added, “It's hard to keep up with everything.”
In an effort to help the Goodrich family, nine-year-old Jasie Willis and her seven-year-old sister Josie have decided to give up their joint birthday party.
The two sisters have instead decided to host the “Pay It Forward Birthday Celebration,” a fundraiser for Caden.
“It's all because my girls wanted to share their birthday presents with a child that is going through something so horrible that they have went through,” Amanda Willis, the girls' mother, told Nashville's News 2.
The Willis family knows how difficult it is to raise a child battling cancer.
In 2007, Jasie was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in her eye.
“I know how hard and how difficult and how stressful and how emotionally draining it is on the families,” Willis said.
Jasie had the tumor removed, and now has a prosthetic eye.
As a cancer survivor, Jasie wanted to understand Caden's battle.
The selfless act of kindness from the Willis sisters has overwhelmed the Goodrich family.
“I'm still in shock that two little kids volunteered to do this stuff,” Angel Goodrich said.
Jeff Goodrich added, “We can't say thank you enough to the two special little girls that's decided to do this for him.”
The Pay It Forward Celebration will be on Friday, October 26 at the Hillsboro Community Center at 7296 Hillsboro Highway in Hillsboro.
Donations can also be made to Caden Goodrich at Ascend Federal Credit Union at 184 South C Street, Hillsboro, TN 37342.
To follow Caden's cancer journey, visit his Facebook page.
To follow Jasie's cancer journey visit her Facebook page.