News

Watch: David’s Story Told to WNDU-TV Channel 16 Audience

From WNDU.com, posted 2/25/17:

A scholarship has been created in honor of a Berrien County teen who died after a battle with Cancer.

 

His family and friends have worked to help his name live on through The David A. Hicks Scholarship for the Arts on Tuesday. The scholarship will help students in Berrien County who wants to pursue a career in visual, performing or graphic arts.

 

David Hicks was 13-years-old when he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called Ewing’s Sarcoma. He beat the cancer, but it returned at the age of 16.

 

At the age of 17 on February 10th, David lost his battle. He loved wrestling, video games and anything related to superheroes.

Zack East, David’s brother, joined Maria Catanzarite on 16 Saturday Morning to tell us how you can apply for the scholarship.

 

Graduating seniors from Berrien County can apply. Students can apply at http://www.berriencommunity.org/scholar.

 

Watch the Video at WNDU.com

Scholarship Applications Now Accepted for 2017

A tragic loss for a Berrien County family is being turned into a gift to the community in the form of the David A. Hicks Scholarship for the Arts at the Berrien Community Foundation.

When David Hicks was just 13 years old, his life was forever changed when he was diagnosed with a rare and difficult form of cancer called Ewing’s Sarcoma. His right leg was amputated below the knee. He fought hard and beat the cancer and lived the life of a normal teenager at River Valley High School. David loved wrestling, video games, friends, family, and anything related to superheroes.

But, at age 16, the cancer returned full force bringing intense pain. He again fought, bravely and quietly. This time, however, the cancer was too strong and David made the decision to forego further treatment.

This month, at the age of 17, David Hicks lost his battle but family and friends have worked to help his name live on through the David A. Hicks Scholarship for the Arts through the Berrien Community Foundation. The first scholarship will be awarded to a Berrien County graduating senior this year.

“This scholarship just made sense to us,” said David’s brother, Zack East. “David always thought about other people first. He never thought about himself. He was excited to think of being able to give this to someone else…And for us, it is like we get to send him to college.”

David loved the performing arts, whether it was movies, TV, dramas, live theater, theme parks video games or any other type of visual arts. The scholarship will support students in Berrien County who wish to pursue a career in visual, performing or graphic arts. The application is available online at http://www.berriencommunity.org/scholar.

The outpouring of love and support from the community has been amazing, East said. A Go Fund Me effort provided enough to cover David’s final expenses and to start the scholarship. The hope is to raise additional funds to permanently endow the scholarship to allow the scholarship to be perpetual “and David’s name will always be remembered,” he said.

The family is stopping the Go Fund Me effort and continuing fundraising efforts through the Berrien Community Foundation. Any donations made to the fund at the Foundation are tax deductible.

For more information on the scholarship or to donate visit the Berrien Community Foundation at http://www.berriencommunity.org. More information on the scholarship is also available at http://www.davidhicksscholarship.com.

MoodyontheMarket.com: From Tragedy to Legacy, a Scholarship Takes Flight

From MoodyontheMarket.com, February 21, 2017:

A tragic loss for a Berrien County family is being turned into a gift to the community in the form of the David A. Hicks Scholarship for the Arts at the Berrien Community Foundation.

 

When David Hicks was just 13 years old, his life was forever changed when he was diagnosed with a rare and difficult form of cancer called Ewing’s Sarcoma. His right leg was amputated below the knee. He fought hard and beat the cancer and lived the life of a normal teenager at River Valley High School. David loved wrestling, video games, friends, family, and anything related to superheroes.

 

But, at age 16, the cancer returned full force bringing intense pain. He again fought, bravely and quietly. This time, however, the cancer was too strong and David made the decision to forego further treatment.

 

This month, at the age of 17, David Hicks lost his battle but family and friends have worked to help his name live on through the David A. Hicks Scholarship for the Arts through the Berrien Community Foundation. The first scholarship will be awarded to a Berrien County graduating senior this year.

 

David’s brother is our dear friend Zack East from Mid-West Family Broadcasting. He says, “This scholarship just made sense to us.” Zack notes, “David always thought about other people first. He never thought about himself. He was excited to think of being able to give this to someone else…And for us, it is like we get to send him to college.”

 

David loved the performing arts, whether it was movies, TV, dramas, live theater, theme parks video games or any other type of visual arts. The scholarship will support students in Berrien County who wish to pursue a career in visual, performing or graphic arts. The application is available online by clicking this link:

 

www.berriencommunity.org/scholar

 

Zack says “The outpouring of love and support from the community has been amazing.”  The original Go Fund Me effort provided enough to cover David’s final expenses and to launch the scholarship. The hope is to raise additional funds to permanently endow the scholarship to allow the scholarship to be perpetual “and David’s name will always be remembered.”

 

The family has concluded the Go Fund Me effort and will instead shift the focus of the ongoing fundraising efforts to the Berrien Community Foundation. Any donations made to the fund at the Foundation are tax deductible.

 

For more information on the scholarship or to donate visit the Berrien Community Foundation at www.berriencommunity.org. More information on the scholarship is also available at www.davidhicksscholarship.com.

From News/Talk 94.9 WSJM: New Scholarship Created In Honor of Berrien County Teen

From WSJM.com, February 21, 2017:

A new scholarship program has been created in honor of a Berrien County teen who tragically died after a battle with cancer this month. The Berrien Community Foundation on Tuesday announced the David A. Hicks Scholarship for the Arts, which will be used to help Berrien County high school grads who wish to pursue a career in visual, performing or graphic arts.

 

David Hicks first fought cancer at the age of 13 when he was diagnosed with a rare form called Ewing’s Sarcoma. At 16, the cancer returned and proved too strong. David passed away at 17. He was the brother of Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s own Zack East, who says David always thought about others first and loved the arts, whether movies, TV, theater, theme parks, or video games.

 

A Go Fund Me helped start the scholarship, and now you can support it through the Berrien Community Foundation. More information on the scholarship is available at DavidHicksScholarship.com.

 

The Loss of a Superhero – By David’s Brother, Zack

I remember back in 1999 when my little brother David was born. I was 16 years old at the time, and already spent most of those years being a bigger brother to Dan and Mike. Now, a new little dude shows up, expecting the world of his big brother. I felt a new sense of responsibility. Even though I hated dirty diapers and the sound of crying. Oh, and babysitting…not my thing. I got over it.

I turned 18, moved out of the house, and ran off to college at Ferris State for four years. I didn’t feel much like a big brother since I was never around. David blossomed into a sharp, funny little kid, asking grown-up questions of his first grade teacher, visiting the principal a few times a month. I enjoyed hearing those stories during holidays and visits home.

Fast-forward to 2013. A year that would treat my brother pretty unfairly, but that’s just my opinion.

David had been complaining of pains in his feet and legs. The doctors at various hospitals were unsure, but one knew the real answer: You Have Cancer. Ewing’s Sarcoma, to be exact.

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 in 2013, David underwent the procedure successfully along with chemotherapy to keep the cancer at bay.

2014 gave David a chance. He was cancer-free. Though missing a part of his leg, he never let it deter him. He wrestled for the River Valley High School team, participated in drama club productions, did well in school and enjoyed his favorite things: video games, movies and most of all…superheroes.

My brothers and I used to take him to comic conventions to meet stars and check out memorabilia. Though the walks through the massive exhibition halls used to wear him out, he loved every minute of it. He’d talk about it for days and weeks, waiting for the next trip.

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.

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.

After pain continued to plague his body and mind, David made the decision to forego any further treatment in early 2017.

At around 10:35am on Friday, February 10th, 2017, David Alan Hicks left this earth to become a superhero in another galaxy.

David’s school, River Valley High School in Three Oaks, held a community service to honor his memory and speak to the many things he did for others. I was never more proud to hear how my brother made an impact in a community full of people by simply being himself. He loved others; thought nothing of himself and everything of others. Sure, he had his interests, but he always seemed to put those interests below others happiness and enjoyment.

These sentiments were echoed so many times over the course of the donations and comments on our GoFundMe campaign that we launched to help with medical bills and start a scholarship fund (more on that in a minute). David touched so many people that a patient that spent time at CS Mott with him traveled to the funeral service to pay respects and support our family because he felt David supported him.

To say I, along with my family, are heartbroken is an understatement. In the weeks leading up to his death, Hospice at Home and the Hanson Hospice Center took great care of him. They provided comfort and relief to not only him, but to us as a family, as we began down the road to the end of David’s journey.

Those of you that know me, know that I always seem to be quite chipper. It’s been so hard to be myself over the past couple of weeks. I’ve never cried so much in my life. But most of that came from people telling their stories of David’s superhero ways. It’s just so hard to believe someone so deserving of a seat at the table on Earth is using his powers for good somewhere else.

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. You can find out more about that here.

Fly high, superhero. We’ll miss you here on earth, but know you’re destined for greater things and that your powers are needed for good elsewhere.