Seventeen-year-old Carly Davis learned in January that she had six months to a year to live. She decided to make it the best time of her life.
Faced with limited time, Carly sat down to write a bucket list, filled with sites around the world that she wanted to see. Her family's finances were exhausted by medical expenses, but Carly's high school classmates, teachers and neighbors in Fulshear, Texas rallied around her to make the travel possible.
In a February fundraiser, her community brought in more than $20,000 to fund what friends called "Carly's Great Adventure." Coverage of Carly's story in The Houston Chronicle added to the wave of donations from around the world, with strangers offering places to stay and other support.
"We've had people donate things like condominiums, airfare and cash," said Carly's mother, LeeAnn Clement. "We've been really fortunate to be able to take Carly to the places where she's always wanted to go."
It's been a whirlwind five months. She visited Hawaii, where she traveled with her mother, father, and brother. In Europe, she visited several countries, including Spain and France, where she saw the Eiffel tower and visited Versailles. She also swung through the American southwest, where the horse lover got to ride a white Arabian at an Arizona dude ranch.
"When she rides horses, I swear, it makes her body better," said Clement.
Carly's favorite destinations have been the United Kingdom and Holland.
"All the castles," she recalled, listing highlights, "and just the great little villages everywhere."
"I've really enjoyed my life," Carly told ABC's Linsey Davis in today's Conversation.
The Fulshear, Texas high school student was first diagnosed at age 14 with Ewing's sarcoma, a bone and soft tissue cancer that affects adolescents. She successfully fought off the disease once, only to have it return in 2009. Doctors at Texas Children's Hospital told her earlier this year that there was no other treatment for her disease.
Carly has now traveled to Guatemala to undergo a series of experimental treatments that she hopes can help her fight the tumors that have developed in her body.
"The neat thing about Carly is that when she wakes up in the morning, she doesn't lay around," added Clement. "Every day is precious to her."
"The last five months have really been a blessing for us, because it gave us something to look forward to every single day," said Clement. "There have been more smiles than tears."
We hope you'll watch today's Conversation.
To donate to Carly Davis:
Send checks by mail to LeeAnn Clement, c/o Karen Sheets, 7412 South Rosalind Circle, Salt Lake City, UT 84121
Or at any Chase bank branch, make a deposit in the name of Carly Davis or LeeAnn Clement to account number 867672511.