At age 13, life changed for David Alan Hicks. He was diagnosed with a rare and difficult form of cancer called Ewing’s Sarcoma. Doctors at University of Michigan – CS Mott Children’s Hospital determined that David had a better possibility of surviving if he underwent an amputation below the knee on his right leg. The day after Christmas, David underwent the procedure successfully along with chemotherapy to keep the cancer at bay. He did not stop fighting.
2014: David beat cancer. Throughout the next two years, he lived the life of a normal teenager just navigating River Valley High School, participating in Wrestling, enjoying everything superhero-related, video games, and fun with friends and family. Like his heroes, he never stopped fighting.
At age 16, less than three years after being diagnosed the first time, David’s cancer returned in full force. Not only did David’s cancer spread to his upper body, but it brought with it tumors and immense pain. The doctors at Mott returned to help David and our family. First, with chemotherapy drugs. After the chemo drugs stopped being effective, the decision to switch to radiation occurred. After weeks of trips to Ann Arbor for one hour a day of radiation therapy, living in a hotel for five days a week to rest and recover, David was still in immense pain. He fought, bravely, quietly, soundly.
Then, after turning age 17, the unimaginable happened. David’s “good” leg was found to have cancer in and around the knee, in addition to the cancer still lingering in parts of his upper body. The options became less, and the paths became harder to see. Still, David fights.
After pain continued to plague his body and mind, David made the decision to forego any further treatment. And he still fights…
At around 10:35am on Friday, February 10th, 2017, David Alan Hicks left this earth to become a superhero in another galaxy.
David loved the performing arts, whether it be movies, TV, dramas and stage shows, theme parks, video games, or other visual arts. So, we intend to allow David’s name to live on as we give the gift of scholarship to High School students in Berrien County that wish to major in a field related to the arts.
The scholarship fund is managed by the Berrien Community Foundation in Berrien County, Michigan. Students wishing to apply can typically expect the window for applications to open in February and close in March each school year. For more information, visit the Foundation’s website for Scholarships and applications here.
Celebrating the Life of David Hicks
David “Dave” Alan Hicks – October 10, 1999 – February 10, 2017
David “Dave” Alan Hicks, 17, Three Oaks, Michigan, passed away Friday, February 10, 2017 at 10:34 am in Hanson Hospice Center, Stevensville, MI after a long battle with cancer.
Funeral services were held Thursday, February 16, 2017 at Ott/Haverstock Funeral Chapel, 418 Washington St., Michigan City, IN with Rev. Tom Potter officiating.
He was born October 10, 1999 in Michigan City, Indiana to Dennis Hicks and Rosemarie DiPaolo who both survive in Three Oaks, MI.
Also surviving are his three brothers, Zackerie, Daniel and Michael East; and many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
He was preceded in death by his grandparents.
David attended River Valley High School and was active in and loved wrestling and drama. He spent most of the last four years at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital where he was as much a caregiver for many of the children there as patients, always thinking they were worse off than himself.
The family would like to thank all of the people at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, Hanson Hospice Center and Angels of hope for all they have done to help them.