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13-Year-Old Known As ‘Super Riley’ Honored After Losing 4-Year-Long Leukemia Battle

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Mary Bubala joined WJZ in December 2003. She now anchors the 4-4:30...
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BALTIMORE COUNTY, Md. (WJZ)— It’s a tough day for a Baltimore County community. They came together to say goodbye to a beloved 13-year-old boy who died of cancer.

But as Mary Bubala reports, what everyone will tell you about Riley Davis is that he smiled until the very end.

Riley Davis lived only 13 years, but he never went a day without a smile–even through a four-year battle with leukemia.

A teacher nicknamed him “Sunny D.”

“He was just unbelievable,” said Janet Hourihan, teacher. “I had my class make him a book. We called him Super Riley, and we put the Superman emblem on the front and sent it to him. Because that’s how he attacked the disease. He was a fighter, a fighter, a fighter.”

Riley was a fourth-grader at Jacksonville Elementary when he was first diagnosed with leukemia. The school immediately rallied around him.

Riley’s teachers organized fundraisers and sold t-shirts with proceeds going to the family.

“I think we did one huge banner and just wanted to be able to send it into the hospital to brighten it up,” said Jenny Ryan, teacher. “Sometimes hospitals can be dreary places, but we wanted it to be happy just for him.”

And Riley’s classmates did something else to support their friend.

“They all decided to shave their head in support of Riley,” said Laurie Fick, teacher. “It was another way the kids could say ‘You know what, we feel your pain, and we are walking this with you.’”

A celebration of Riley’s life was held Tuesday. His teachers, friends and family all gathered to say goodbye.

Riley is survived by his parents and an older brother.

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