(T-G Photo by Mary Reeves) [Order this photo]
There is a huge gold and green bow on the outdoor sign at Parkway Diner today, next to the words:
Korley is Korley Davis, the Liberty School 6th grader in dire need of a lung transplant.
If Christy Boyce, a friend of the family, has her way, businesses all over Shelbyville will display similar ribbons and the same, heartfelt message.
"It's down to prayer, now," she said. "But Korley's stronger than you'd think. She's been fighting something since she was born. I feel good about this. If we can get the whole town to pray ..."
Korley, the daughter of Becky and Donald Davis, is in remission for the leukemia she beat back some time ago, but she is also suffering from lung damage. Until recently, she has been on the list for a transplant.
Just this Monday, the call came -- there was a donor for Korley. But by that time, Korley had a health setback and wasn't strong enough for the procedure.
"She's at Vanderbilt now," said Christy. "They've got her on a heart and lung bypass machine, which oxygenates the blood and gives her lungs a rest. She's also on a ventilator, which keeps her lungs inflated."
Christy said doctors want to wean the child off the heart and lung machine soon, as she gets stronger. The stronger she gets, said Christy, the better her chances are to get back on the transplant list.
"They said they'll put her right back at the top of the list as soon as she's strong enough," she said.
It's been that kind of roller coaster year for Korley, with the high points of good news and local support helping overcome the valleys of declining health. Last summer, as a result of the Shelbyville Central High School's Make-A-Wish fund drive, Korley was given the VIP treatment at the CMA Music Festival. She even got to meet her favorite performer, Taylor Swift, visiting the singer on her tour bus.
Just last week, Liberty School held a cornhole tournament and raised more than $3,000 to help the family with medical expenses.
Now, even more than money, the family needs prayers, said Christy.
"I believe the more we pray, the more it helps," she said. "And when she comes home, she will see all the signs and ribbons and know how much everybody loves and supports her."
The ribbons were Christy's idea and she has already gotten several businesses to follow Parkway Diner's lead.
There is special significance in the colors.
"Green is Korley's favorite color," she said. "And the yellow -- the yellow is all about coming home."