Teen cancer patient begins bucket list with prom

7:04 PM, Mar 21, 2013   |    comments
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People in Campbell County continue to rally in support of a teenage girl during what has now been a two-year fight with bone cancer.

WBIR shared the story of Katelyn Norman last June and how this beautiful girl keeps living life to the fullest while she battles a deadly disease.  People in her home county have held multiple blood drives to help with Katelyn's life-saving transfusions.

The outpouring of support for 14-year-old freshman Katelyn Norman was especially evident on Thursday at Campbell County High School.  Signs lined the outer fence of the school with messages such as "We love Kate" and "Kate is great."

This week Katelyn and her family found out that in spite of constant treatments, the cancer has spread and doctors say her remaining time is short.

In spite of the terminal diagnosis, Katelyn remains focused on living.  She has made a bucket list of things to do during the time she has left.  The list includes some large things such as a trip to Italy, if she gets medical clearance from her doctors.

One item on the list is a very common thing for many high school girls.  Katelyn wants to go to prom.  The problem is Campbell County High School does not hold its prom until May.

"So I asked the school if we could give Katelyn an early prom," said CCHS nurse Sharon Shepherd.  "They said absolutely and everyone has pitched in to make this happen.  We're going to give Katelyn her own prom that will be invitation-only for her closest friends and family."

Shepherd affectionately refers to Katelyn as "Katie-bug" and chokes up when discussing the close relationship they have developed.

"I have known Katie-bug since she was in kindergarten.  She is sassy.  She has so much energy and so much life.  Even now she has just never given up and has beaten cancer.  Even if cancer takes her away from us, she has beaten cancer because she never let it keep her from living," said Shepherd.

Shepherd said people in the community immediately stepped up to make Katelyn's personal prom a reality.

"We've already had people donate services like a DJ, lights, decorations, dresses, hair styling, limousines, and everything else," said Shepherd.  "This is not anything to be sad or upset. This is what Katelyn wanted as a celebration of her life. And that's what we're providing for her."

The prom will be held next Tuesday and is by invitation-only.  A Facebook page is asking everyone in the community to "Light the night for Kate" with candles along Fincastle Road at 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday.

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