After learning about Gale Goff’s story, one Pittsburg resident wanted to find a way to help.
After watching a viral video on the internet about a community pooling together to help a family struggling with the effects of cancer, Lori Wilks said she wanted to do the same for Gale.
“I couldn’t stop thinking about her,” she said. “I wanted to gather as many people as I could and do that for her.”
The family in the video was sitting in a restaurant recording what they believed was a video for a GoFundMe account. People began walking by their table, dropping $100 on the family’s table as they walked by. They raised over $13,000.
Lori said the event was about people coming together to give something to one person in need.
Gale was diagnosed with breast cancer less than a year ago. She has endured 19 rounds of chemotherapy to shrink the tumor.
Lori is a George Nettels Library Media Specialist and when she found out about Gale’s story, she encouraged her students at George Nettels to create get well cards.
After the acts of kindness from the students, Gale had surgery to remove what remained after chemotherapy.
Unfortunately, the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes and she will need to endure 33 rounds of radiation.
Gale is already back at work as a teller for Kansas Teachers Community Credit Union.
On Friday, Lori had everyone hide on the corner of 5th and Broadway Street until it was just the right time to come in and surprise Gale. Friends and family kept the whole thing a secret for two weeks.
Some people didn’t even know her and decided to come support her anyway.
“I’d tell her to fight, fight, fight, win, win, win,” Vassar resident Lisa Cantrell said. She said a few people from her own community pitched in for the donation.
Gale’s sister Janis Goedeke and her friend of 30 years, Regina Barton stood at the corner waiting in anticipation to see Gale. They said “she’s a fighter and a warrior.”
While waiting people wrote her notes to show their support which said, “never give up” and other well wishes.
The president of KTCCU President Mark Kolarik — who had to unlock the doors for the special event — waved everyone down and they walked down Broadway with smiles on their faces.
Once inside, Lori sat the container down and said, “this is for you.”
Gale looked up and a line of people poured into the building.
One at a time they each dropped cash into her container, which brought tears to Gale’s eyes and just about everyone around her.
She received hug after hug, from both her visitors and her coworkers.
“I’m overwhelmed with the love and the support everyone showed me and I truly appreciate it,” Gale said.
Community member Steve Seybold made a special cross in honor of Gale. It is up for raffle to benefit her. People can buy a ticket. Tickets cost one for $3 and four for $10 and all proceeds will go to Gale. If anyone would like to buy tickets they may call Steve Seybold at 704-0262 or Lori Wilks 231-1534.
— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on twitter @pittstephpotter.