14 YEAR OLD KATELYN NORMAN WITH TERMINAL CANCER IS UNABLE TO ATTEND HER PROM – I’ve been staring at the computer screen for over an hour trying to keep my emotions in check so that I could write this article. It’s hard, so very hard. How can you write about a child whose light will soon shine no more and be detached? – I certainly cannot.
14 year old Katelyn Norman learned two years ago she had osteosarcoma, an aggressive form of bone cancer. Just last week her doctors announced that the cancer had now spread to her spine, heart, arteries and pelvis and that no treatment was left available – there is simply nothing more that doctors are able to do.
As a final wish, like many in Katelyn’s position, she drew up what was rather a modest ‘Bucket List’ which is a list of wishes she would like to come true before she goes.
Katelyn’s Bucket List
A last slow dance
Learning to drive a car
A day with each sibling
A last kiss
A Marilyn Monroe piercing on her lip
Attending an Of Mice and Men concert and getting an autographed T-shirt
Riding on the back of a motorcycle
A modest list by anyone’s standards and one that family, friends and even well-wishers hope to provide before the end. If you would like donate to Katelyn’s bucket list please click here.
One of her other wishes, not on the list, was to attend her own Prom Night and all was set. But within hours of getting ready for her big night Katelyn was rushed back to hospital as she struggled to breathe.
Not to be deterred her friends, family and Prom date decided the only solution was to take the Prom Night to Katelyn.
Her Prom date turned up, in a very smart tuxedo and presented Katelyn with her Prom Corsage and then filled her hospital room with cards, music and balloons.
Outside the hospital thousands of well wishers lined Highway 63 and held a candle-lit vigil for Katelyn who thought the Prom Night party, to her insistence, would simply go on without her.
Katelyn’s illness has brought the people of Campbell County closer together as a community and Mayor William Bailey announced that Tuesday 26th March would be declared as ‘Katelyn Norman Day’ as a tribute to a young girl who has so much heart and spirit.
Katelyn’s story, was first picked up on the social networks and then Kristi Buckner, in North Carolina, step up a fund raising page in order to help Katelyn achieve her Bucket Wish List.
Doctors, nurses, friends and family all truly find Katelyn a remarkable young lady; most admitting that she is like no other; ‘a shining star that once you meet will never be forgotten’.
Katelyn’s mother expressed her gratitude to all the friends, family and well-wishers who are doing what they can to help Katelyn achieve her last wishes.
Since being diagnosed with bone cancer in May 2011, Katelyn has undergone numerous surgical procedures and operations including bone transplants, replacement of tissue ligaments and chemotherapy for the tumors on her lungs, but all have failed to cure Katelyn and as the cancer now spreads it is widely accepted that her time is very short.
There is nothing I can say or do that would make Katelyn better; but like so many I wish I had the power to change that.
I have witnessed, at first hand, children die of cancer due to my involvement with a family many years ago, where my neighbours daughter was diagnosed with leukemia. What I witnessed during this period of my life changed me forever. Considering many of the children on the ward were terminal, it was a privilege to witness the strength and spirit that you cannot find in anyone but a child.
While the parents of the girl involved was grateful for my help, it is I who was the most grateful as I learned a level of humility that no other experience could possibly give. This is something that I know all those involved with Katelyn will walk away with and cherish all of their lives.