A benefit fundraiser for Annelise Davis is set for Saturday at the Jackson County Recreation Complex in Cullowhee.
A Fun Run is set for 1:30 p.m.; a food and ice cream truck will be onsite from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and a Zumbathon with instructors from across Western North Carolina is set for 3 p.m.-5 p.m.
Davis was a standout athlete at Smoky Mountain High School, playing volleyball and competing in the state swim meet all four years while being named all-conference three times.
After graduating magna cum laude from Berry College with a BS in exercise science, she returned to Jackson County to work at Current Dermatology and toward becoming a physician assistant. She graduated from PA school at East Carolina University in 2015.
She returned to Sylva in 2018 where she began working as a PA at Mountain Ear, Nose and Throat.
In 2018 she began to experience excruciating back pain and in July of that year MRI results showed a tumor on her spinal cord.
Surgeons removed as much of the tumor as possible. Following rehab where she learned to walk again, the pain returned. She lost sensation in her legs and underwent emergency chemotherapy and radiation in Durham.
Davis has learned to walk again but is still in a wheelchair the majority of the time.
Saturday’s event is sponsored by Mountain Ear, Nose and Throat Associates, the Jackson County Parks and Recreation Department, Jack the Dipper and the Print Shak.