WJHL.com - Lt. Gov. Ramsey's grandson cancer free, family says

Lt. Gov. Ramsey's grandson cancer free, family says

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Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey's grandson, Briggs. was diagnosed with cancer. Watch more about his battle with the disease tonight on News Channel 11 at 6. Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey's grandson, Briggs. was diagnosed with cancer. Watch more about his battle with the disease tonight on News Channel 11 at 6.
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BLOUNTVILLE, TN (WJHL) - Tennessee Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey's public life is well documented.  As the head of the Tennessee Senate and the architect of the Republican party's historic "super-majority" in the Tennessee General Assembly, he is both revered and reviled for his unapologetic brand of conservative politics.

But what isn't widely known is that Ramsey and his family have endured a medical nightmare for the past several months.

Last year, Ramsey's infant grandson was diagnosed with cancer.

Briggs Goforth was just 8 months old when his parents, Dustin and Tiffany Ramsey Goforth, noticed something that didn't seem right.   "We found a lump," Tiffany said.  "You think - that will be something that will go away."

But the Goforth's decided not to take any chances.  So they took their son to see his pediatrician, and the decision was made quickly to pursue emergency surgery. 

"They had told us 2 or 3 things that it could be," said Tiffany.   "One of them was a tumor.  That was the last they thought it would be, especially a cancerous tumor."

But test results revealed the lump was cancerous.

"You cry and you pray a lot," Tiffany said. "From the very beginning, they always said this a very curable cancer.    That's what we had to go with, that it was curable, that he would be okay.  He was only 8 months old. "

The Goforth's brought Briggs to Niswonger Children's Hospital in Johnson City, an affiliate of the world renowned St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Through three rounds of chemotherapy, the Goforth's said Briggs was resilient.   "We were all crying, but he just kept smiling,"  Tiffany said.

For Lt. Governor Ramsey, this was a problem all the political power in Nashville couldn't solve.

One of the most powerful politicians in Tennessee suddenly found himself in a situation he couldn't fix.

"You can't just wave a magic wand," Ramsey said.  "You can't just sign a piece of paper and the problem goes away or negotiate with someone and the problem go away.  And it makes you feel helpless.  It really does." 

After weeks of bad news, the Goforth and Ramsey families now have reason to rejoice.    Several tests have returned no evidence of cancer.

And they're now determined to spread the word about St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and its affiliate at Niswonger Children's Hospital in Johnson City.

"That's where you want to be when you're in such a horrible place,"  Tiffany said.  "We've been positive before, and then we've had a bad moment.  You just have to trust in God that He has a plan.   And that plan we hope for now is no cancer."

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