It is an honor to be able to write about my experience with Goodness Village. It was a devastating Sunday morning when we got the call from my husband’s primary care doctor that his labs came back abnormal, and we needed to go to the ER immediately. My husband in shock just handed me the phone and tended to our twin 3.5-year-olds. After a trip to the ER then an ambulance ride to a larger hospital in our area and a week of testing it was determined he had Multiple Myeloma.
I quickly had him transferred to Dana Farber in Boston for even more specialized treatment. There along with the Multiple Myeloma, he was diagnosed with plasma cell leukemia. Life as we knew it stopped. We got the best treatment plan and traveled three hours to Boston every weekend while having my sister watch our boys. Case after case he would have a good response which would quickly turn into no longer a response. He tried everything we could.
It was time to move on which is when I found Dr. Frtiz Van Rhee. We went for a consult and knew that was where we needed to be. We quickly learned how frequent and the length of time we would be spending in Little Rock. That’s when we made contact with Goodness Village, our savior. Goodness Village stepped into action immediately getting us an apartment each time we needed to be there. Not only an apartment but a home away from home. Ryan felt so comfortable there which provided me a sense of relief that he felt a sense of home. Food was delivered, and I was checked in on by Kim when Ryan was inpatient from stem cell transplants. We were provided a beautiful quilt that gave such a feeling of warmth and love. It came a time when Christmas arrived, and we had to bring our twin little boys with us. After two days in a hotel that was awful Goodness Village stepped in and found us an apartment for the kids and me to stay in while Ryan was in the hospital. They even provided us with a beautiful Christmas tree and most importantly provided a visit from Santa with gifts for our two little boys. That meant the world to them and their eyes lightened up at a time when my heart was breaking watching my husband suffer.
Unfortunately, treatment stopped working and we ended up in New York City waiting for a clinical trial. He was within days of getting the cells needed to make a difference but he passed 18 months after his diagnosis on the worst day of my life May 16, 2019. I was left with two five-year-olds and no husband anymore. I was and am still devastated but whenever I talk about it Goodness Village comes out in the conversation. If it was not for Goodness Village, I don’t know how we would have gotten through our time in Arkansas. I continue to donate because I hope other families feel the love we did even after Ryan passed. Kim was a comfort like no other when I felt I had nobody. I miss him every day as a husband and father, but I will always be grateful for Goodness Village and the kindness and love they provided.