Madison man battling cancer educates others about preventative health care
MADISON, Wis. – Those who know Gary Davis best said he’s always had a community spirit, so watching him use his own health crisis to bolster his commitment to others came as no shock.
Davis currently works as the Youth Employment Coordinator for Briarpatch Youth Services. Prior to that, for nearly 15 years, Davis made it his business to do what he could to help others, work he finds rewarding.
“My dad was always like that,” his daughter and co-worker Kayla Every said. “Going out into the community and doing what you can to counter the negative things.
But as Davis does his part to support others through life’s challenges, he faces a big problem. Three years ago Davis was diagnosed with prostate cancer, the same disease that took his father.
With her father in mind, Davis now uses her community reach to educate black men like her father about the importance of getting tested, listening to their bodies and knowing their risks.
“I think if he would have been in a position to know how far we’ve gone medically, then he probably would have (taken on) that challenge of doing chemo,” he said.
Davis also knows what many health experts do, which is that men often take too long to get to the doctor. He said men need to stop being afraid to see the doctor.
In return, his community is reaching out. Her daughter Every said that since Davis’ diagnosis, people have shown their family support in so many ways, leaving Davis grateful.
“My favorite thing to say to people is, ‘Give people their roses while they can still smell them,'” Davis said. mean to you while they’re here, don’t wait till they’re gone,” you know.”
In addition to his work at Briarpatch, Davis is a member of the African American Cancer Community Advocacy Board and a music promoter. He uses all these platforms to connect with people and inform them of the value of good health practices.
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