Family, friends remember 8-year-old who battled cancer

Ben Goldberg

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – After a courageous battle against cancer, Ben Goldberg, a friend of 10 On Your Side, has died.

The personality-plus 8-year-old earlier appeared on WAVY-TV 10, encouraging people to join the fight against cancer through Cycle for Survival.

“Cycle for Survival is important because they want to raise money to get more equipment to do better research,” Ben said at 7-years-old.

Ben and WAVY’s Andy Fox competed to see who could raise more money for cancer research — and Ben easily beat Andy.

Cycle For Survival event raises $250,000

Ben also took us to his beloved Hebrew Academy of Tidewater — where he was a stand-out student and loved by all. He was a leader and an inspiration.

Ben lit up a room with his personality, and his wit. He loved Star Wars and he moon-walked like Michael Jackson.

Ben loved music and he loved the Beatles. John Lennon, who died on December 8, 1980, was Ben’s favorite. It so happens, Ben also died on December 8. Lennon is gone, so Ben’s Make a Wish was to meet Beatles drummer Ringo Star — and he did.

At Ben’s service Sunday, Rabbi Jeffrey Arnowitz at Congregation Beth El said of Ben, “He didn’t just love music, he was music.”

These are a few more notes Andy took of Rabbi Arnowitz’s remembrance of Ben: “He was an old soul. Music marks our time and connects us to our immortality. Ben was made of music. When our words fail, we turn to poetry… Ben’s favorite prayer was the Serenity Prayer… He was a unique presence… He had a keen sense on how others were feeling… He was not self-centered… In his short life, he touched more people than we do in a full life… Accepting hardships as a pathway to peace, trusting he will make all things right if I succumb to his will… The pain we feel is a miracle, because we feel love, and love is stronger than death.”

Andy says of Ben, “You can live an entire life and meet only one Ben Goldberg. He was the brightest 8-year-old I’ve ever met, and he brought love and joy to all who had the privilege to be in his presence.”

Our hearts and prayers go out to Ben’s family.

Ben was buried with his headphones, which the Rabbi said was his helmet, and his iPad that was his shield.

You can sign Ben’s guest book here or at The Virginian Pilot’s guest book here.

Andy’s Cycle For Survival Reports: