Last week, fans of the Buffalo Bills football team came together to honor former practice squad member Titus Davis, who died on November 11. Davis was 27 and had a rare, aggressive form of kidney cancer called renal medullary carcinoma (RMC).
Twitter user @sanealexjones called for the team’s fans – the “Bills Mafia” – to donate to the Kidney Cancer Association in memory of Davis and to support his brother Corey Davis of the Tennessee Titans football team. Within 24 hours, the KCA received over 100 donations.
In a piece at The Buffalo News, Corey Davis, who played the night after his brother’s death in a game against the Indianapolis Colts, said: “It was heavy on my mind, every play. But I just kept thinking this is what he wanted me to do. He wouldn’t want me to be sad and sulk and feel sorry for myself. I obviously miss him and wish he was here, but i know he’s in a better place and that he was with me today.”
Titus Davis was a standout receiver at Central Michigan University where he set new records in receiving and touchdowns scored over his 4-year career. He was signed to several teams’ practice squads throughout his time in the NFL.
Davis had been diagnosed with RMC in July. RMC has a high mortality rate – less than 5% of people diagnosed live beyond 3 years. Symptoms include blood in the urine, belly or flank pain, unexplained weight loss, or difficulty breathing or coughing. This cancer typically affects young African Americans with sickle cell trait (SCT), a blood disorder that is found in about 1 in 12 African Americans in the US. Testing is necessary to determine if someone carries SCT.