Emily F. Davis, 15, worked to help other children who were seriously ill

March 01, 2004|By Joe Nawrozki | Joe Nawrozki,SUN STAFF

Emily Ford Davis, who while fighting cancer was a powerful advocate for young people afflicted with life-threatening diseases, died Friday at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda. The Ellicott City resident was 15.

Miss Davis had battled Ewing's sarcoma, a childhood bone cancer, for the past two years.

She had a "beautiful spirit, kind and loving heart and was always more concerned for others than herself," said her father, Jake Davis.

Colleen Blough, a nurse at Johns Hopkins Hospital who treated Miss Davis for two years, said the teen-ager "taught us adults a lot about life."

"She was incredible," Miss Blough said. "She stayed positive until the end and was brave to everyone she touched. She always wanted to better someone else."

Raised in Ellicott City, Miss Davis was a sophomore at Centennial High School.

In 2002, her work was featured on the Make-A-Wish holiday card, raising money for the organization dedicated to fulfilling the wishes of seriously ill children.

She was the winner of the Howard County 2003 Unsung Hero Award, her father said, and used the event to "brighten lives of other children who would follow in her path."

She was also the keynote speaker for the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life Kickoff in Howard County and, using her artistic talents, created a necktie that was used in the Miracle Network 2003 collection of neckwear sold to support the Johns Hopkins Children's Center.

While undergoing treatments for cancer, she created an art camp for children in her community.

Sarah Korn, a friend of Miss Davis since they were in grade school, said that she "was awesome, so upbeat when you look at everything she was facing. At the camp, children came up to her like she was a magnet. ... They just knew."

She was also a member of the Girl Scouts of America and served as a mediator in area elementary and middle schools.

"She compressed a lot of wonderful life in her limited years," Miss Blough said.

A memorial will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Paul's United Methodist Church, 7538 Main St., Sykesville.

In addition to her father, survivors include her mother, Carol Davis; a brother, Spencer, 12; and a sister, Alexandra, 16, all of Ellicott City; her paternal grandparents, Arthur and Virginia Davis of Towson; and her maternal grandmother, Mildred J. Baltimore of Towson.

Donations can be made to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, 10920 Connecticut Ave., Suite 1600, Kensington 20895-1600, or Believe in Tomorrow, 6601 Frederick Road, Baltimore 21228.

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