In spite of being identical twins, there are a few differences noticeable in the girls. Jayci is a bit smaller than Graci, she is missing two front teeth, and oh yeah, she has a prosthetic leg! All differences caused by Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare type of cancer that begins in the bone or the soft tissue around the bone.
It most commonly affects children and typically affects the long bones, such as thigh, shin, or upper arm. In Jayci’s case, it was her left thigh. She was two years old when diagnosed and spent the next year and a half undergoing rotationplasty, multiple blood transfusions, chemotherapy, ICU stays, and life almost constantly spent inside a hospital.
Rotationplasty is surgery that removed Jayci’s thigh and replaced it with her lower leg. Her knee became her hip bone, her ankle became her knee, and the lower leg was replaced by a prosthetic.
Her parents, Ashley Buchanan of Longview and Zeke Davis of Harmony, both worked, so Jayci’s grandmother, Cindy Seahorn, took over the majority of care and stayovers at the hospital. Because Jayci’s immune system was compromised, she even spent her visits home at Grandmother Cindy’s to avoid unnecessary exposure to germs.
Jayci is now enrolled in ACE, which is a long-term aftercare program that focuses on monitoring and minimizing the side effects of her chemo treatments. And there are many—heart and bladder issues, hair and dental growth inhibitions, and manipulation of the growth plate as Jayci ages.
Although dealing with current and future issues stays at the forefront of her parents’ and grandparents’ minds, Jayci lives life like a normal kid. She is a first grader at Harmony Elementary, plays softball and basketball, and rebels against any limitations placed on her!
There are times she wishes she could be more like her sister, and on rare occasions she endures teasing from other kids. However, her biggest disappointment at the moment is her inability to ride a bicycle. She would like an Amtrike (bikes built to individual specifications for people with special needs), but the cost is prohibitive at this point.
So she continues to play school with her sisters (twin Graci and younger sister Kynlee) and wants to be a teacher when she grows up. And without even realizing it, with her “can do” attitude throughout her trials, she is already teaching others a little bit about life and living and the miracle of being!
Jayci Davis will be the Gilmer Relay for Life Princess for 2014. The event will take place on Friday, April 25, at the airport in Gilmer at 6 p.m. Come show your support for Jayci and all the others whose lives are affected by cancer.