Donations to the Always Fighting Cancer Fund can be made in person at Providence Bank of Georgia, 4955 Windward Pkwy. in Alpharetta, or by mail to Providence Bank of Georgia, P.O. Box 1127, Alpharetta, GA 30009. For more information, go online at www.caringbridge.org/visit/devoncurrie.
The parents of a 20-year-old South Forsyth High School graduate who died last week of a rare form of cancer said he never complained about his disease.
Devon Mason Currie died Dec. 14 after a nearly two-year-long battle with Ewing's Sarcoma. His funeral was Friday at Perimeter Church in Duluth.
His mother, Mary Currie, said about 700 patients worldwide are diagnosed with the disease each year and Ewing's has a 10 percent survival rate.
"He was very compassionate even in his soft-spoken way," she said. "He was very giving and just very sensitive and loyal and had a very good heart ... I'll just miss him with a passion."
According to CancerIndex.org, the disease is usually diagnosed in patients ages 10 to 20 and often appears in the pelvis, spine, ribs and bones in the legs.
Currie had gone through two stem-cell transplants, chemotherapy and had a rib removed in his fight against the disease.
While at South, Currie lettered in football, basketball and track. David Currie, his father, said his son was a formidable force on the football field.
"His junior year he played defensive end in football and people started running away from him after the fourth or fifth game," Currie said. "He would catch kids on the other side of the field from behind. He was just an outstanding athlete."
Currie said off the field, his son was "a good, quiet kid."
"He'd been fighting cancer for a year and a half and he never complained," he said. "I know he'd been going through the pain and his body wore out."
In 2006, Currie went to Southeastern Louisiana University on a football scholarship and majored in criminal justice.
His college career was cut short, however, when the cancer surfaced.
In a press release last week, Southeastern head coach Mike Lucas offered condolences to the family.
"Devon meant a lot to this program and to our players," Lucas said. "There were a lot of tears shed when they found out about his passing.
"He was as tough and physical of a player as we've ever had here. He was a young man with tremendous faith and we know that he's not suffering anymore."
Currie was a special teams standout his freshman year. The 6-foot-3 inch, 210-pound reserve linebacker was the Lions' special teams most valuable player of 2006.
The family has asked that donations be made to the Always Fighting Cancer Fund at the Providence Bank of Georgia on Windward Parkway in Alpharetta.
Mary Currie is the school nurse at South. She said she hopes to use the donations to encourage others to donate blood.
She said after Devon's second stem-cell transplant, he had to wait for blood because of low supply. She's heard stories of others who have had to postpone medical treatment because of a lack of blood supplies.
"I want to figure out if there's some avenue to make blood donating an easier process," she said. "Whether it's incentives or some platform that people are not so afraid of seeing blood ... It should be something that people just feel so compelled and passionate about giving."
Currie said she would also like some of the funds to go toward treatment for Ewing's survivors.
David Currie said his son was able to complete one of four things on his wish list before he died: a motorcycle ride.
"He was so excited and he got to ride it for several hours and then he passed away Saturday night," Currie said. "He went out on a high, big time."
In addition to his parents, Currie is survived by his brothers, Shane and Mason, grandparents and other family members.