Hunter Goad was a typical 11-year-old boy who loves football, wrestling, video games, and likes to pick on his younger brother Zach.
Hunter and his family attend Hillsville Pentecostal Holiness Church In Hillsville and they live in Carroll County. Hunter is in the 6th grade at Carroll County Middle School. In November of 2015, Hunter started falling a lot due to loss of coordination and having daily migraines. On Febuary 2, 2016, his mother received a call from the school nurse that Hunter had a severe migraine. The nurse tested his eyesight and it was 20/50 in both eyes. That prompted his dad, Allen, to go pick him up from school.
His parents, Allen and Wendi Goad, took him to Twin County Hospital in Galax and the doctors did a CT Scan, and Hunter was diagnosed with a concussion. From the CT scan, a mass was found. On February 4, they took Hunter to his pediatric doctor at in Mount Airy, N.C., and they ordered an MRI to be done the following day.
An MRI on February 5 confirmed Hunter had a brain tumor. One day after they received the bad news, the family celebrated Hunter’s 12th birthday on February 6th with family and friends. Of course his mom and dad were in a great deal of shock, and Hunter was upset but not fully understanding what was really going on. Within about a week the family met with a neurosurgeon at Brenner’s Hospital in Winston-Salem, N.C. for a consult and set up for a surgical biopsy.
So the day had come, February 22, when they had to be at Brenner’s early that morning to get Hunter prepped and ready for his biopsy. As Allen and Wendi, family, friends, and their Pastor Jeff Pickett and Terry Semone from Hillsville Pentecostal all waited for his surgery to finish, after about four hours the doctor was done. Hunter had to stay at the hospital overnight for observation. The only thing they knew when they left the hospital was that the cells were abnormal, and the tumor was located in the right temporal lobe in the sub cortical white matter of the brain, and that the size of the tumor was equivalent to a nickel.
While Allen and Wendi anxiously awaited pathology results, Hunter remained symptomatic. Hunter is also Autistic and the tumor was causing personality issues. On March 17, the neurosurgeon’s office called the family to come into the office to discuss the results. The family then found out that the tumor was cancerous. Their fears just got a lot more intense and they realized it’s not just a brain tumor, but it’s brain cancer – every parent’s worst nightmare.
Wendy and her family are Christians and they have strong faith in God and the power of Prayer. The name Hero Hunter comes from Hunter’s late Uncle Lyndon, who passed away last June. His Uncle always called him Hero because of Hunter’s struggle with Autism. His Uncle Lyndon was a very important part of Hunter’s life.
The community of Carroll County and Galax has really come together to send money, food, fundraise, and benefits to help with all medical expenses. The Hero Hunter Benefit is set for April 23 at the Hillsville VFW from 2-4 p.m., Hosted by Jamie Payne and Summer Brewer.
There will be hot dogs, drinks, chips, a bake sale, a silent auction, and carnival games and bounce house. There will be lots of fun for everyone. Payne said he is hoping for a great turn out as this is one of the biggest events planned for Hunter.
“Hunter is scheduled for a crainology on April 15. We don’t know at this time what stage his cancer is in as one of the pathology test shas not come back yet,” Payne said. “He also might have to undergo Chemo and radiation after they remove the tumor, but we won’t know until they finish with the surgery. Allen, Wendi, and Hunter are very thankful for everyone that has sent prayers, donations, and they are looking forward to seeing and meeting people at the benefit.”