ALBANY, Ga. -- The news for Albany resident and Golden Corral manager Shirley Davis was devastating.
According to friend and co-worker Lori Starnes, "They said she had emphysema, and they found two small masses on her right lung. By the next visit (the cancer) had spread to her left lung and lymph nodes ... and to her brain."
Davis' prognosis, while devastating, has not kept her from going about her normal routine. Those who know her say she is an unstoppable force in the workplace.
"She's trying to work through all this," said co-worker Nancy Roberson. "She takes her business serious."
Likewise, Starnes says of Davis, "She's an awesome worker; she's our fix-it person. She can fix anything. She'll be in here with a hammer and a screwdriver. Everyone says they don't know what we'd do without Ms. Shirley."
Davis and her husband, Tim Davis, have six children and seven grandchildren, according to Starnes, so her co-workers are not the only ones affected by her condition.
"Her husband's having a really hard time with it," Starnes said. "And she's such a sweet, compassionate person. It's just a sad situation."
Davis, however, is not allowing cancer to stifle her positive attitude. Starnes explains, "Her outlook's awesome. She comes into work so upbeat. She is just so positive."
Starnes added that Davis is "tough as nails" and has the attitude that "nothing's gonna get me down."
"She is a great testament of faith" who holds firm to her beliefs, Starnes said of Davis, adding that she'd told her, "I'm in God's hands."
And while Davis has achieved a level of peace with her prognosis, the financial burden of such a devastating illness is a very heavy one to bear.
"She has to work," says Starnes. "With the fundraiser, we're trying to ease that burden."
The fundraisers, a yard sale Friday and a car wash Saturday, are intended to alleviate some of the financial stress that the Davis family is experiencing.
Roberson, who is spearheading the fundraising efforts, said that Davis is a "very sweet ... very caring person" who is also a "big-time hunter."
Roberson has been frantically making arrangements for the yard sale and car wash, successfully gaining support from Beef O' Brady's, local Shell gas stations, and Hooters, as well as several other businesses that will help sponsor the fundraisers.
Roberson and Starnes are both enthusiastic about the events, and Starnes said, "The most we can hope for is a good turnout."
All proceeds from both events will go to Davis and her family.
Those wishing to donate items for the yard sale are encouraged to take the items to Gillionville Storage on U.S. 19 South in Leesburg. Roberson said to speak to someone at the front desk about Unit E2, where the yard sale donations are being held.
An account in Davis' name has also been set up through Regions Bank, and donations to the Davis family can be made at any Regions branch.
For more information on the fundraisers, contact Nancy Roberson at (229) 347-3137 or Lori Starnes at (229) 446-0100.