Just as her friends had gathered at venue in LaFollette Tennessee on Tuesday night to throw the prom in her honor, Katelyn was airlifted to hospital struggling to breathe.
In an extraordinary show of determination and courage, the young girl drew up a list of activities she hopes to complete, before passing away. Some things on her bucket list include: learning to drive a car, getting a Marilyn Monroe piercing, having a last slow dance, spending a day with each of her three siblings, and attending Prom.
Katelyn who was in stable condition and high spirits on Tuesday night, was pictured smiling as her date bent down to her hospital bed, presenting her with a yellow corsage. Thousands of people stood along highway 63, as part of a candle lit vigil for Katelyn, who had insisted that a party continue in her absence.
"She contacted me and said prom must go on, thats her and you can't help but feed off that energy, that life" stated Sharon Shepard who is an instructor as Katelyn's school and prom coordinator. "Once you meet her your life will never be the same, she has such an impact" Shepard told WATE-TV.
The event was held at The Stables in LaFollette and had been personalized for the teenager with the theme "Katie in the sky with diamonds." Friends danced, ate and drank at the party posing in front of Italian backdrops (which is also on Katelyn's dream list).
Campbell County mayor William Bailey, also attended the prom announcing that March 26th will be known as "Katelyn Norman Day" "We wanted to try to make this day, and this time in her life, special to her because she makes it special for people in Campbell County" he said.
Her story has spread across multiple social networking sites and Kristi Buckner in North Carolina set up a fundraising page so that her family could afford to carry out Katelyn's last wishes.
"Katelyn has touched so many people and has been an inspiration, she has brought an entire community together, 'Will you help us fulfill her bucket list?" It says. Katelyn's mother, Erica Nelson, said they hope to complete as many activities as possible, as she spends her last days back at home. " I just want to give her what she isn't going to see and just try to fulfill what she wants to do. Its not really much, but it's something to her..We're very grateful that they're wanting to come help Katelyn. She's touched a lot of people" She said.
|Relatives kiss brave Katelyn|
Katelyn was diagnosed with the bone cancer, in May of 2011, when a friend punched her arm and it went numb. X-rays then revealed abnormal bone, and she was found to be suffering from cancer in her arm, nodules and lungs. Since then she has undergone multiple surgeries and chemo, but they have all failed to ward off the illness.
Although doctors are uncertain on how long Katelyn has to live, she is also determined to complete her wishes. "She doesn't let the fact that the doctors said she won't last very long bother her,' her friend Brandon said. "She has an attitude that, "I'm Katelyn. I'm bald, I'm beautiful and I will beat this."
You can donate to Katelyn's bucket list fund and wishes here