The men of Galaxy will host the Kirk Goodwin Run on April 8 to raise funds for a local nurse diagnosed with kidney disease.
The KGR started 33 years ago when Kirk Goodwin, a Galaxy pledge at the time, was in a fatal car accident driving home to visit his family. Because he was in a coma for about three weeks, the family had an overwhelming amount of medical bills. The men of Galaxy hosted the first run to contribute to the bills. Now, the annual run functions to support an ACU student or Abilene resident that is in the same position as the Goodwin family years ago.
This year, the club is sponsoring Kristen Taylor, previously a NICU nurse at Hendrick Medical Center until she was diagnosed with a kidney disease. She received a new kidney from her mom a year ago but her transplant began causing problems. Because of her health problems, she is out of work and has only her husband’s income to pay for living and medical expenses.
Caleb O’Neal, executive director of KGR, said he’s seen increased participation in the run since the KGR benefit dinner started three years ago to help raise money for the race.
Each year at the dinner, Goodwin is remembered by the community as his family and guest speakers share testimonies about their personal experiences with him. The race symbolizes that although they are no longer financially supporting the Goodwin family, Galaxy and the community still desire to help people in the same situation.
O’Neal and Blake Harpold, executive director of logistics, said their involvement with the KGR has changed their perspective.
“Personally, its really great to be in Galaxy just to see how it works and how the family is blessed,” O’Neal said. “It’s another thing to be on the leadership team and see how happy the recipient family is and how pleased they are that a group of college kids are putting this on and taking time out of their everyday life, their school, their job to put all of this on just to help them. It’s been eye opening. It’s blessed me more than anything in my life.”
Runner sign-ups, a donations page, and more about the history of the KGR can be found at http://www.kirkgoodwinrun.com.