In this week's Romona's Kids, we have the inspiring story of a young woman who's taking her battle with cancer, and turning it into her legacy; something that will live on and help others who will go through the same struggle.
Canetta Davis has big dreams, like being a news anchor. But her dreams were deferred, twice. At age 16, Canetta was diagnosed with breast cancer. She beat it, and headed off to college. But this past year, she found out she now has lung cancer.
"This fight has been a real tough one," said Davis. "I went through the first one quickly, but this one is really really tough."
Canetta always wanted to host a fashion show where all the models were breast cancer survivors. Then she had a better idea.
"God placed in my heart for me to create my own clothing, start a fashion show, create a brand that everyone could wear," said Davis.
The Leprechaun Foundation, a volunteer group that grants wishes to terminally and chronically ill children, acted fast. They contacted the Virginia Marti College of Art and Design in Lakewood. They assigned two students to help make Canetta's dream come true.
"The beauty of our organization is, we can cause things to happen quickly," said Jean Dunbar, president of the Leprechaun Foundation.
"We sat down with Canetta and she gave us all the ideas she had, and we started doing sketches," said student Anna Meyer. "I think what she's doing is really inspiring because it's so selfless."
"I thought it was a great idea, I wanted to jump on board," said student Sierra Frantz. "It's really an honor and I'm so proud to be a part of this."
"I think that makes me more proud than anything, not the fact that we create great students, but that we create great students who care," said Todd Saperstein, Virginia Marti Graphic Design Department Chair.
Meyer and Frantz came up with graphic designs. One logo reads, "Courage, Hope, Strength."
"If you do not have that, you will not get through this fight," said Davis.
Canetta's mother came up with the brand name, "True Survivor," to describe her daughter.
"To me, every day that she gets up with that mentality, with that smile, that attitude at home and that laughing and joking, she's surviving every day, she's a true survivor daily," said Donna Davis, Canetta's mother.
Canetta is keeping busy with getting the clothes ready for sale, and the profits will go to cancer research.
"I want to have not just shirts, I want to have jogging suits, scarves, hats, a full-fledged clothing line," said Davis.
She's refusing to give up the fight against her cancer. And she's taking her mother's advice.
"She says, you cry, you get your last little cry out, sometimes it's good to cry, but then you get back up on your feet and you stay strong," said Davis.
If you want to order a T-shirt designed by Canetta, the shirts will be ready to order Monday on the Leprechaun Foundation's website, or you can contact Debbie DiBlasi at (440) 915-8371 and by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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