EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

October 25, 2013

'Life is good -- especially when we're winning'

By Brian Messenger
bmessenger@eagletribune.com

---- — METHUEN — Jane Davis took in last night’s World Series game from the grandstand with her daughter and grandson. If the series goes six games, she’ll be back at Fenway Park next week with her sister.

Davis, 53, wouldn’t have it any other way. The three-time cancer survivor sees the Fall Classic as an opportunity to make memories that will last a lifetime.

“Just having the ability to do this with my family — we’re all going together,” said Davis, who lives on Milk Street with her 20-year-old daughter Erin. “I thank God, just for life, and having this opportunity.”

Erin sees baseball as a good outlet for her mother — even if things do get a bit loud come game time.

“She’s psychotic about the Red Sox,” said Erin. “She just screams at the TV and gets excited.”

Davis came close to death in 2001 while battling advanced-stage lung cancer. She’s beaten the disease twice and also fended off breast cancer. Unfortunately, the 22-year Methuen resident’s health struggles continued this fall.

During Game 1 of the Division Series against the Tampa Bay Rays in early October, Davis experienced the first of several cardiac episodes that left her feeling lightheaded.

Davis found herself in an ambulance Saturday night and on her way to Lawrence General Hospital after the episodes continued. She wound up staying there for four days to undergo a slew of medical tests.

The entire time, Davis kept telling the doctors and nurses that she needed to be released before Game 2 last night.

“I drove them crazy, I’m telling you,” said Davis, who was released Wednesday morning.

Davis’ days as a Red Sox fan go back to childhood, when Carl “Yaz” Yastrzemski — her favorite player — ruled Fenway.

Davis remembers buying $5 bleacher tickets. The best present she ever received as a kid was a small radio, which she used to listen to Sox games while lying in bed.

“That was one of my favorite things,” said Davis. “I probably should have been sleeping and getting ready for school.”

Davis recalls crying in the fall of 1986 after watching the ball roll through Sox first baseman Bill Buckner’s legs, leading to an epic World Series collapse against the New York Mets.

By 2004 it was time for Red Sox Nation to cry tears of joy. When the team broke its 86-year championship drought, Davis insisted that she and Erin make the trip into Boston together to watch the Duck Boats parade.

“It was unbelievable,” said Davis. “I made her skip school to attend the rolling rally. I said, ‘Let’s go! This is history, honey!’”

These days, Davis’ favorite player is speedy center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury. Davis is a believer in the power of prayer, and she said she’ll be praying this offseason that the star free agent signs a new contract with the hometown team.

Davis also attended Game 2 of the American League Championship Series, a come-from-behind victory against the Detroit Tigers that featured a dramatic game-tying grand slam by designated hitter David Ortiz.

Davis called her ALCS experience “the most exciting thing I’ve done in my life.” Before Game 2 last night, she was hoping the Sox had some more theatrics in store for their fans.

“Life is good — especially when we’re winning,” said Davis.