Read Gary Johnson's column about Korley.
One of Liberty School's and Shelbyville Central High's biggest sports fans needs our prayers and thoughts.
Korley Davis, a student at Liberty and daughter of Central teacher Becky Davis, has suffered with leukemia for years and is in need of a double lung transplant which would take place in Pittsburgh.
Unfortunately, she has recently had a setback and was on an assisted breathing device today at Vanderbilt's Children's Hospital.
While Korley has been fighting her illness all these years, she has been frequently spotted at Liberty and Shelbyville Central sporting events.
It's always a blessing for me to see her walk into the gym or stadium with her oxygen pack on her back.
She always has a huge smile and takes everything in stride.
My family and I had the opportunity to visit Korley a couple of years ago when she was in an extended stay at Vanderbilt and we noticed all the Taylor Swift pictures and posters she had on her wall in her hospital room.
As many of you know, Korley is a huge Taylor Swift fan and she got to meet her last summer during the CMA Music Festival in Nashville thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation on behalf of Shelbyville Central's support of the charity.
Since then she has made a number of trips to Pittsburgh and was placed on a waiting list for her lung transplant.
According to United Network for Organ Sharing, there are over 1,700 U.S. waiting list candidates for a lung transplant.
I cannot imagine -- as a parent -- all the mixed emotions of having a child on a "waiting list" for a transplant.
As anxious and exciting as it must be to finally get that call that a donor has been identified, you know that your good news is someone else's bad news.
With that said, what a greater gift than the gift of life from an organ donor.
I have a number of friends who have been recipients of an organ donation, including former T-G sports editor Bo Melson, and I've seen the difference it's made in their lives as well as the lives of their families.
Korley's determination and fight during her illness has been an inspiration to all of us who know her. I'm sure she cherishes her family and friends just as much as they cherish her.
Sometimes we question the obstacles life sends our way but our success is measured in how we handle those obstacles rather than how much we question them.
I know this community has been and will continue to be there for Korley and the Davis family during these difficult times.
Korley, get well soon and I look forward to seeing you again at the ball games!
According to Donate Life America, here are a few statistics about organ donations:
* More than 100,000 men, women and children currently need life-saving organ transplants.
* Every 10 minutes another name is added to the national organ transplant waiting list.
* An average of 18 people die each day from the lack of available organs for transplant.
* In 2009, there were 8,021 deceased organ donors and 6,610 living organ donors resulting in 28,465 organ transplants.
* 90 percent of Americans say they support donation, but only 30 percent know the essential steps to take to be a donor.
Want to become an organ donor?
1. List yourself as an organ donor on the back of your driver's license. Most states have a designated spot that you can check off to declare yourself a donor. Contrary to popular belief, checking off the spot will not prompt emergency medical personnel to cease resuscitation, nor will it otherwise interfere with attempts to save your life.
2. Sign up with your state's donor registry. While not every state has such a registry, most do, and almost all registries allow you to sign up online. Visit OrganDonor.gov to see if your state offers a donor registry and learn more about how to sign up.
3. Print and sign a donor card, and carry it in your wallet at all times. A donor card is a small piece of paper that contains your personal information and a list of what organs you are willing to donate upon your death. You can print a free donor card online to carry with you.
4. State your intentions to become an organ donor in your living will. Even after registering yourself as an organ donor, your family will still be asked to give the final consent -- and they can ignore your wishes if they so choose. To prevent this from happening, many people who wish to become organ donors clearly state their desire to donate in their will. This eliminates any confusion about your intentions and increases the chance that your family will honor your wishes.
5. Discuss your desire to become an organ donor with your family. They are the ones who will make the final decision, so it is imperative that you discuss your intentions with them before you pass. You can address their concerns now and dispel any myths they may believe about donating.
-- Gary Johnson is a Times-Gazette sports writer.