Life for Whitney Davis has been difficult for the past two years, after the 9-year-old from Mt. Greenwood was diagnosed with cancer in July 2020.
However, for a week, she was able to forget her worries by making a Chicago Cubs fan’s dream come true.
Davis and his family were treated like royalty while attending a Cubs game at Wrigley Field, and the following days they attended a Cubs game in Pittsburgh, met several players on the field, and then were returned home with a multitude of memories.
Almost all of Whitney’s family members are Cubs fans, which leaves her, her parents and her sister with invaluable memories.
“It was really good,” Whitney said. “It was the best time of my life.”
Whitney is a patient at the Advocate Children’s Hospital of Oak Lawn, and Advocate Health Care has partnered with the Cubs for the unique, all-expenses-paid experience in which Whitney was Advocate All-Star.
After enjoying a Cubs home game earlier in the week, Whitney and her family attended the Cubs game in Pittsburgh on June 21, with the Cubs taking on the Pirates at PNC Park.
Whitney was invited to the field for batting practice, where she met Cubs players Kyle Hendricks, Christopher Morel, Scott Effross, Mychal Givens and Rafael Ortega.
Hendricks is an all-star pitcher and was part of the 2016 Cubs team that won the World Series.
Even better, he is Whitney’s favorite player and plays the same position as Whitney’s older sister, Madeline, who plays for the St. Laurence High School softball team.
Hendricks is known for his calm demeanor on the mound and Whitney’s mother, Erin Kading-Davis, said he was the same way in person.
“He was amazing,” Kading-Davis said. “Super nice, really talkative – he didn’t have to pitch that day or have any responsibilities, so he was just a little relaxed. He’s a super nice guy.
During their week of baseball fun, the family also took advantage of the 1914 Club and Barrel Room at Wrigley Field, an exclusive, underground entity.
Whitney also received a baseball autographed by Hendricks and other Cubs memorabilia, and the whole family received personalized Cubs jerseys, even Whitney’s father, Maurice, who is a White Sox fan.
At the airport, the family joined the Cubs executives for breakfast and drinks.
“The whole experience has been fantastic,” Kading-Davis said. “It was a lovely time. The whole experience was an amazing experience for Whitney and our whole family.
Whitney undergoes chemotherapy every day, her mother said, with her last day scheduled for September 11.
She is in remission after being diagnosed after complaining of pain in her arms and legs and not being active herself.
Whitney loves jumping on her trampoline, her mother said, and when she stopped doing it, she knew her daughter must be sick.
His attitude, however, remains optimistic.
“I don’t know if there is a better patient,” Kading-Davis said. “She doesn’t usually cry. She is very calm. She kind of knows what her fight is. …She’s just been a warrior through it all. His spirits are always high. She loves jumping.
Whitney also relished a Make-A-Wish experience in which she enjoyed a downtown shopping spree and was a “princess for a day.”
At Advocate Children’s Hospital, she is being cared for by Dr. Jason Canner, who, along with other doctors, has been “incredible,” Kading-Davis said.
She and her family hope to have more to celebrate in September.
In the meantime, they’re grateful their week with the Cubs brought so much joy.
“It just helps distract you,” Kading-Davis said, “from the reality of what she’s really going through.”