PHOTO: Davis Overcash takes the dance floor.
Dancing Davis Shaking Off Cancer 5K event promotes pediatric cancer awareness
BY DEBBIE PAGE
When Davis Overcash was only 5 years old, he kicked cancer’s butt.
Now cancer-free for two years, Davis and his family want to help other families facing pediatric cancer through the Dancing Davis Shaking Off Cancer Foundation 5K on Saturday, September 23, at 9 a.m. at ESC Park in Troutman.
The family fun event will also include a one-mile kids fun run, a performance by the Acrofit All-Stars, face painting, a bounce house, a DJ, and a variety of vendors.
Race day registration is $30 dollars. Runners can register at the event or online at https://racesonline.com/events/dancing-davis-shaking-off-cancer-foundation-5k.
September is pediatric cancer awareness month, and the Dancing Davis Shaking off Cancer Foundation wants to raise awareness of the disease. Mika Overcash, Davis’s mom, started the foundation after she discovered that few resources are directed toward combatting childhood cancer.
“Something has got to change,” said Overcash, and she and her family are determined to lead that fight.
Krista Honeycutt, Davis’s aunt, explained that childhood cancer is the leading cause of death from disease in children under the age of 15.
"In one year the federal government spends the same amount on childhood cancer research as Americans spend in Starbucks’s coffee in three days,” she said. “Let that process. Hardly any funding in one of the richest countries in the world to save these children that could be our future presidents, our future Steve Jobs, or our future of change that we need in America."
Every day 43 children are diagnosed with cancer, according to Honeycutt, and 12 percent who are diagnosed do not survive. Sixty percent of those children who do survive suffer long-term effects from treatment, including infertility, heart failure or secondary cancers.
Davis was diagnosed with a rare form of liver cancer. During the first six months of 2015, he went through 30 chemo treatments and an extensive surgery to remove over half of his liver.
His battle was not easy for Davis or his family, but “he was the superhero through it all. We could not believe the amount of support we received from our family, friends, church, community, and people we didn’t even know,” said Honeycutt.
The family realized they could provide the same emotional and financial help for others who are fighting this battle, so they started the Dancing Davis Foundation to be there for other local families battling childhood cancer.
The foundation’s name came from an incident during Davis’s treatment, Overcash explained. “We were in the playroom one day at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia listening to music while playing, and the Taylor Swift song ‘Shake It Off’ came on.”
“Davis loves to dance and got up and started dancing, so this was when we decided to name his fight against cancer Dancing Davis Shaking Off Cancer," she explained. "This then became the name of our foundation in honor of Davis and his courageous fight.”
So far in 2017 the foundation has helped 10 families with medical bills, funeral costs, toys, or funds to allow a family to enjoy a special time together that they could not otherwise afford with the burden of medical bills.
“We want families to be able to have some since of normalcy during these trying times. With today’s event alone, we will be able to give $5,000 worth of gas cards to Levine Children’s Hospital to give out to families in need,” said Honeycutt.
The foundation is also gearing up for a toy drive in October to restock the prize rooms at Levine and is planning a dance-a-thon in February to raise foundation funds.
Mika and husband Davy Overcash have been overwhelmed with sponsors’ support of the 5K event, which so far totals almost $11,000 and helps provide goodie bags, T-shirts (for early registrants), and medals, as well as support for the foundation.
Gold Sponsors: Richard Abernathy Grading, CBL, Inc., Lake Norman Chrysler/Jeep/ Dodge/Ram, and the Martin Truex Foundation.
Silver Sponsors: Fast Phil’s, Mooresville Glass and Mirror, Blu-Sky HVAC, Levine Law Group, Live It Xtreme Sports and Fitness, and R.C. Moore Transportation.
Bronze Sponsors: Personalized to Impress, Prestige Building Company, Evelyn Kay Club, Lake Norman Screen Printing, Iredell Health System, Stallings Refrigeration, Southlake Communications, Farm Bureau Statesville (Jason Lanning, Travis Elliott), Mooresville Reality, White Sales Home Furnishings, Statesville Carpet, American Bailbonds of NC, Core Assets, Norman Retaining Wall, George Shuping, DDS, Greg Kuchtjak Pediatric Dentistry, and Terry Watts Electrical Contractors.
Race Timing/T-shirts: Race time is by MRT, and T-shirt design is by High Tide Designs.
To learn more about the Dancing Davis Shaking Off Cancer Foundation, go to http://dancingdavisshakingoffcancerfoundation.org or visit on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/dancingdavisshackingoffcancerfoundation.