Facebook

Twitter

Tumblr

iTunes

RSS

HEAR THIS HOUR'S UPDATE
News Pages
« Winter Weather Wearing on Moods | Main | All-Female College Returns Transgender Woman's Application »
Tuesday
Mar262013

Teen with Terminal Cancer Heads to Prom Thanks to Bucket List

Courtesy Brandon Huckaby(NEW YORK) -- A last slow dance, learning to drive a car, a day with each sibling and seeing Italy are all items on 14-year-old Katelyn Norman's bucket list.  She doesn't have a lifetime to accomplish the goals, however, so her family, friends and community are rallying around her to make them happen.

Norman is dying from osteosarcoma, an aggressive bone cancer.  After fighting the cancer for two years, she was told last week that it has spread and there's not much more doctors can do.  She was sent home to spend her last days.

Norman hopes to check off some of the items on her bucket list at a personalized prom Tuesday night in LaFollette, Tenn., where she will be surrounded by friends, family, classmates and her doctors.

"They said that it has spread a lot, my cancer, and that it's the beginning of the end of my days and so we started a bucket list," she told ABC News' Knoxville, Tenn., affiliate WATE-TV.  "[I'm] ecstatic.  I can't wait.  I just can't wait to go."

Norman's bucket list also includes a last kiss, a Marilyn Monroe piercing, and attending an Of Mice and Men concert and getting an autographed T-shirt.

"I just want to give her what she isn't going to see and just try to fulfill what she wants to do.  It's not really much, but it's something to her," her mother, Erica Nelson, told WATE.  "We're very grateful that they're wanting to come help Katelyn.  She's touched a lot of people."

The prom's theme is "Katie in the Sky with Diamonds" and about 1,000 people with candles are expected to line the road leading to the dance venue to show support for the girl who has touched so many.  The candle event is called "Light the Night for Kate."

"I've never seen this community come together quite as much as they have over one single person," school nurse Sharon Shepherd told ABC News.  "[Katelyn] will change your life.  You'll never be the same.  She will make an impact on you.  She's a jewel.  My life will never be the same."

Shepherd works at Campbell County High School, where Norman is a sophomore.  She has known Norman since she was 5 and has grown close to the teen since her diagnosis in seventh grade.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio