Wishes come true for local girl battling disease
Published 7:00 am Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Brianna Davis is now the recipient of a tree house fit for royalty after a team from Resurrection Life Ministries helped fulfill her “Make a Wish” request.
Her grandmother, Shiree Bounds, said that the Make a Wish Foundation offered her many choices centered on Walt Disney themed vacations, but the eight-year-old was consistent with her decision to have a tree house.
Davis was diagnosed with Stage IV non-Hodgkin’s T-Cell Lymphoma back in 2012.
Bounds described it as one of the easier blood disorders to treat but one of the most difficult to diagnose because it presents few, if any symptoms.
Bounds said she only had her intuition to go on when she noticed her granddaughter was always tired and changed sleeping patterns.
“I knew something was wrong, and finally the nurse practitioner took pity on me because she had a granddaughter as well and wanted to give me some peace of mind,” Bounds said.
The referral to Children’s Hospital came just in time; they found a tumor by Davis’ heart. Bounds said she was told that if she had waited one more day to bring her granddaughter in to be evaluated, it would have been too late.
“They took five milliliters of fluid from around her heart and cut into her chest in two areas to remove the tumor,” Bounds said.
After being diagnosed in kindergarten, Davis was homeschooled through first grade and so far has missed 26 days this school year upon her return to Union Baptist Academy for second grade.
This year’s missed days are a result of continued treatment, including spinal fluid tests every 80 days and chemotherapy by port every 30 days. She also takes a chemotherapy pill each night and from time to time takes steroids.
Bounds said that the treatment has given her granddaughter an 80 percent chance of survival. However, if the disease returns, the figure drops to 40 percent.
It is a lot for a little girl to go through, Bounds said. But the community has been a huge support network for the family through blood drives and acts of kindness.
Acts of kindness like the construction of Davis’ tree house through City Care. City Care is a non-profit started by Jacob Hickman of Resurrection Life Ministry.
“I’ve been in the process of starting a non profit organization called City Care and had been looking for service project opportunities,” Hickman said. “I was telling a friend about it and she emailed me few days later and described Brianna and her wish for a tree house.”
Hickman said that after speaking with the grandmother, he and team members viewed the proposed site and planned for construction. The following Saturday, RLM’s Pipeline Young Adult Ministry and the Roseland Park Assembly of God helped build Davis’ dream tree house.
“Make A Wish had donated funding for the tree house so we were able to use the funding as far as we could, then everything else was donated,” Hickman said.
The tree house has a spiral staircase and is completely enclosed, with an air conditioning unit and screens for the other windows. It is furnished with two chairs, a kitchen and features an art area with supplies.
Below the tree house are a rock climbing wall, swings and a rope swing.
Hickman said he has plans to return with a few people to do touch up work on the inside in a couple of weeks.
“We are currently looking for other projects,” he said. “When you look around Picayune or your neighborhood and say, wow, someone should really do something about that, City Care would like to be that group to help.”
For more information on City Care visit: citycarepicayune.com or phone (601) 347-6035.