Marie Frances Pan Xia Jai Heimann Davidson lived a full and predominantly happy life. Sadly, she passed away at home just before her 20th birthday on January 18, 2020. Marie died of signet ring cell colon cancer less than 2 years after her diagnosis. Marie was primarily treated at Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York and consulted with Seidman Cancer Center in Ohio before entering hospice with the Visiting Nurse Association of Monmouth County, NJ.

Marie was adopted by her 2 dads, Tom Davidson and Keith Heimann at the age of 9 months from Gaozhou, China in November 2000. Right from the beginning Marie showed interest in food – all kinds! She was curious, creative and cheerful as a little person. Marie was thrilled to have her baby sister, Grace (also adopted from China, Hunan Province) join the family when Marie was 3 years old. She actively enjoyed her big sister role advising, admonishing and loving Grace. 

Marie was an excellent student. She graduated from Red Bank Regional High School with Honors in 2018 from the Computer IT Academy. She was a student at George Washington University, D.C. where she majored in Computer Cyber Security. She was awarded the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) New Jersey Aspirations in Computing Award 2018. She was also awarded the Scroll of Honor by Omega Psi Psi Fraterni/Phi Upsilon Chapter in Academics in 2018. 

Marie derived a lot of satisfaction helping others. She was an active member of the United Methodist Church of Red Bank, NJ. There she served as the treasurer of “The Backpack Crew,” an organization that fills backpacks for children needing food. Marie spent two summers with UMC helping families in rural areas of West Virginia and Kentucky through The Appalachian Service Project. Even as a little girl, she asked her dads to send money to St. Jude Hospital to help sick kids and donated her long black hair twice to Locks of Love. Her kindness and compassion for others was part of her DNA.

Marie’s creativity was expressed often. She loved to draw, paint and sew. She was an avid photographer and loved comics (including yearly trips to Comicon with her buddies) and travel, as well as watching her favorite TV show, Parks and Recreation. Spending time with her close friends was especially important to her. Marie was proud that her family successfully sued the State of New Jersey in 2014 for the Right to Marry.

Marie took control of her destiny throughout her life including during her illness always making her own healthcare decisions and never complaining about her condition. She bravely faced numerous chemotherapies and surgeries including HIPEC. And throughout her illness she was far more interested in getting busy living than in dwelling on her cancer. 

Marie would whole-heartedly endorse the Michael P. Brown Colon Cancer Foundation for its fight to find a cure for signet ring cancer as well as for its founders’ positive way to “get busy living!” Her family are very grateful for Angie Brown’s support and generous kindness. It’s an honor and healing to be part of raising funds for the Seidman Center of Excellence for research that we hope will ultimately save lives from signet ring cancer.