Story By Ken Harge
“In November 2016 Amy Shirling-Davis began having persistent stomach issues. She sought treatment from her doctor but the nagging stomach discomfort continued. After a couple of weeks she went back to she her doctor after seeing blood in her stool. The doctor immediately recommended a colonoscopy. A week later the test results confirmed Amy’s fear, she had stage 1B colon cancer. A surgery was performed to remove the cancerous tumor. Shorty afterwards Amy was subjected to 12 rounds of unbearable rounds of chemotherapy that pummeled the cancer into remission.
All was well, until those grim symptoms reappeared in 2018. The cancer was back. Not only had the disease returned to her colon, it had metastasized to her liver and elevated from stage 1B to stage 4. After thinking that her life was back on track, she once again had to submit to more agonizing chemotherapy.
Amy is not alone. And defeat is simply not an option. There are some promising treatments that Amy will go through at Yale Hospital, and everyone around her is hopeful. But there’s something else, a very unlikely character has entered her evolving story. You see Amy is an ex-wife. Clearly that is not remarkable. What is remarkable is that Amy’s ex-husband is a take-no-prisoners Army dude, and it just isn’t in his makeup to sit by idly and let the mother of his three children go through this epic battle alone. His name is Rodney Davis, and he decided to do something to help his ex-wife.
Not long ago Rodney had done an incredible 30-mile walk in support of a young boy named Xander who became afflicted with cancer. While brainstorming with Kelly Quinn a longtime mutual friend, the creative sparks began to fly and Rodney decided that he would walk for Amy and thus the idea was born – Amy’s Walk, “NO ONE WALKS ALONE”.
So, on Mother’s Day Sunday May 13, 2018 Rodney will walk again. This time he walks for his friend of over thirty years and the mother of his children. The event begins at 6AM at Hubbard Park 999 West Main St. in Meriden CT. The choice for beginning this walk at Hubbard Park was by design. It’s one of Amy’s favorite places and holds lots of sentimental memories. In fact the route that Rodney will walk will touch down at several places that mean something special to Amy. Rodney will walk to Kennedy High School in Waterbury where the two of them met, and then end his epic journey at the Harold Lever Regional Cancer Center at 1075 Chase Parkway in Waterbury.
Without a doubt this will be an inspiring BYOT, that is Bring Your Own Tissues type of event. But there’s much more behind the undertaking. Kelly and Rodney want to raise awareness of the affliction that struck Amy, colon cancer. Breast cancer awareness gets an enormous amount of publicity and that is a very good thing. However, colon cancer doesn’t usually get much attention. This walk aims to change that.
As with most cancers early detection and treatment are critically important. When caught early colon cancer is highly treatable. Unfortunately colon cancer may come silently like a thief in the night with no apparent signs. If you are over 40 years old here are some pointers –
• If you have a family member with a history of colon cancer or polyps, get screened.
• If you are African American you are more at risk, get screened.
• If you have a personal history of any cancer, get screened.
• If you have ulcerative colitis, inflammatory bowel disease, or Crohn’s disease, get screened.
No matter what your age if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms –
• A change in bowel habits, constipation or diarrhea or noticeably narrow stool
• Persistent abdominal pain like gas, cramping, or a feeling like you can’t empty your bowels
• Rectal bleeding or blood in your stool
• Weakness or fatigue
• Unexpected weight loss
PLEASE CALL YOUR DOCTOR AND GET SCREENED
If your doctor thinks screening is appropriate it will involve a colonoscopy. It ain’t pleasant, but it can literally save your life. The good news is that you’ll be asleep for the procedure. Unfortunately people under the age of 40 are not immune from the ravages of colon cancer. There has been a significant uptick in the diagnosis of colon cancer in people as low as 30, and even 20 years old. It is super important to be hyper aware of changes in your body. Again if you experience any of the symptoms listed above….
PLEASE CALL YOUR DOCTOR AND GET SCREENED
The other thing Rodney and Kelly want to accomplish with this walk is to raise funds for Amy. The new treatment she will be undergoing is very expensive even with insurance. Your generosity can make all the difference in the world. Please visit the Go Fund Me page at this link and do what you can.
Rodney Davis and Kelly Quinn are organizing this special event to make absolutely certain that the outcome for Amy will be positive. Defeat is simply not acceptable. Think how awesome it will be for Amy to see hundreds or even thousands of people show up and give their enthusiastic support . You have a chance to really make a difference for a lovely and deserving woman.
This Sunday on Mother’s Day please follow the Facebook Live event at – https://www.facebook.com/events/1970039776400859/?ti=icl and most importantly look into your heart and call on the best part of who you are and come out and walk a few miles with Rodney to support Amy’s Walk and show her that No One Walks Alone.”