Community roots one last time for Regen Morris

(WBIR-Sevierville) A Sevierville boy's battle with brain cancer had people all across the world "Rootin' for Regen."

Regen Morris, 12, died on Christmas morning.

On Saturday, friends and family said their final goodbyes at First Baptist Church in Sevierville. Visitation was from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., followed by the funeral service at 6:00 p.m.

The 12-year-old fought an aggressive form of brain cancer for more than a year, and during that time his story reached thousands.

At the visitation, strangers came up to his aunt, Joy Maples, and told stories of how Regen's battle helped them fight their own hardships.

"I got a letter today from someone out of state and she said a year ago she was close to suicide and just in a bad spot. She just happened upon one of Regen's prayer cards somewhere. She pulled them up and followed his story," Maples described.

She went on to say, "His love and his courage made her reevaluate and get some things right. I actually just met her. She's here tonight."

It took some nearly two hours to pay their respects. More than 30,000 people followed his journey through the Facebook page "Rootin' for Regen."

"I had to come up there and pay my respects. I have a little one up there too watching him. Now they're together. I wish all the family all the prayers," said a choked up Wilma Moroz of Sevierville.

Maples added, "All of our supporters are our gift from God. We would not be getting through this."

Regen's family now wants that support to spread.

"Literally all we did was love Regen and everything else happened. So I hope everyone takes whatever peace they get from his story. I hope it helps somebody, or the next little boy or the next little girl," Maples said.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made to the family of Preston Gentry, another student at Pi Beta Phi Elementary who is battling childhood leukemia, at 737 Waterfall View Lane, Sevierville, TN 37876.


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