This One's for Mom
Oct. 15, 2011
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -Junior Akeem Davishas been playing like a man on a mission this season. He is leading the Tiger secondary and is ranked second on the team in tackles, and he has posted an interception in each of the last three straight games. And today, more than any day of the 2011 season, he is playing for his mother, Karen Davis, who lost her battle with cancer exactly one year ago today. His mother had an aggressive cancer that started in her liver and ultimately spread to her breasts and other parts of her body. Within weeks of her diagnosis, she lost the battle and died on Oct. 15, 2010.
Akeem was fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to visit his mother for a week during the season once he was told of her diagnosis. Just one day after her death, Akeem played against Southern Miss, but couldn't stop thinking about the fact that his mother had told him she would be there to watch him play. And she was, though, in spirit.
Honoring his mother's memory is also why this month is so important to Akeem with October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Akeem and his teammates are sporting pink for today's game.
Coach Larry Porter requested that equipment manager Marc Hohorstorder pink socks, pink wristbands, a ribbon decal for the helmets and pink athletic tape for the Tigers to wear this weekend for their only home game in October. In addition, Coach Porter had Hohorst add Akeem's mother's initials to his wristbands, and stitch her name on a pink towel. Akeem has worn the same towel on his left side every practice and game since the 2010 season opener versus Mississippi State because it was the last time his mom was in the stands. This week, he was named an honorary captain and was presented the special towel and wristbands on game day.
The most endearing thing about listening to Akeem talk about his mother is when he calls her "my girl." It is quite obvious the love he has for his mother and how much his mission each and every day is to do his best and honor her and make her proud.
He also has a message in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month: "This disease respects no one. This disease not only affects the woman, but affects the children, affects the sisters, affects the grandkids. It's something that you want to catch early. Get screened. And make it an annual thing. It's something that you want to catch early, because if you can catch it early, you can beat it."