Meet Desmond Davis, your 2019 Ace All Star
Updated Jan. 21, 2019
The Ace Hardware Foundation is pleased to name Desmond Davis, 6, of Grand Blanc, Mich. as the organization’s seventh annual Ace Cares for Kids All-Star. The Ace Hardware Foundation and Beaumont Children's surprised Desmond at a classroom assembly on Friday, Jan. 18 in front of friends, teachers, hospital staff, and family. The event was held at Myers Elementary School in the Flint suburb of Grand Blanc.
Desmond will serve as national ambassador for the Ace Hardware Foundation, raising awareness for the excellent work that is done at local Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals across the country. Through the support of Ace’s vendor partner Duracell, the Ace Cares for Kids program enables Ace stores to raise funds for their local CMN Hospital using Desmond’s incredible story as inspiration.
Desmond was born a healthy and very active child. When Desmond was 1, his family started to notice that he was falling a lot and it was painful for him to sit. To his parent’s disbelief, he soon became paralyzed from the waist down. They took him to his pediatrician and then to an area hospital to figure out the cause. After several visits, Desmond’s parents brought him to Beaumont Children’s, a CMN hospital in Royal Oak near Detroit. In September 2014, Desmond was diagnosed with a spinal cord tumor and doctors prepared his family for a cancer diagnosis. He was rushed into emergency surgery a day later to remove the olive-sized tumor.
After further testing, his tumor was determined to be benign, but he still faced the prognosis of having to completely learn to walk again. At 2, Desmond started with learning to crawl and began physical therapy. Throughout his recovery process, Desmond was required to wear leg casts to correct his joints, but the most impactful tool used in Desmond’s recovery is Beaumont’s state-of-the-art Lokomat machine. This machine combines a treadmill with weight support and an adjustable exoskeleton and has task-specific training or “games” included in every session. At 2, Desmond was the youngest patient at Beaumont Health to ever practice therapy on the Lokomat.
Thanks to the specialized treatment he received at Beaumont Children’s, Desmond is a bright, giggly, happy child who remains active and plays basketball, football, and other sports every chance he gets. Now 6, Desmond continues his physical therapy on the Lokomat machine and uses leg braces to walk.
“We are thrilled to welcome Desmond into the Ace All-Star family,” said Kane Calamari, Senior Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer and President of the Ace Hardware Foundation. “His bravery, strength, and commitment to face the challenges of learning to walk again makes him a fantastic choice for the 2019 Ace All-Star. Desmond along with his family will share his story to raise awareness for CMN hospitals and generate essential funding to ensure other children can receive the same life-altering treatments.”
Desmond was selected by the Ace Hardware Foundation following a nationwide campaign that gave every Children’s Miracle Network Hospital an opportunity to nominate a deserving patient. As the seventh annual All-Star for the Ace Cares for Kids Program, a $10,000 donation from Duracell will be made to Beaumont Children’s in Desmond’s honor. In addition, the Davis family will be treated to an all-expense paid trip to attend the CMN Hospitals’ annual conference in Walt Disney World. Throughout the year, Desmond will make special appearances and will be treated to exciting surprises from Ace Hardware.
As a proud supporter of CMN Hospitals, Ace Hardware is dedicated to raising funds for children’s hospitals across the country, including Beaumont Children’s. Over the past 27 years, the Ace Foundation has raised more than $100 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
Submitted by: Catherine Jones – Ace Hardware Foundation