March 30, 2013
With most of the university students gone over spring break, a handful of Tennessee Football players remained on campus working out and getting ready for the second rounds of spring practice.
On Wednesday March 27, Byron Moore and Marlon Walls decided to go to the East Tennessee Children's Hospital at the urging of defensive backs coach Willie Martinez to meet a young woman that would change their lives.
Katelyn Norman, a 14-year-old from La Follette, Tenn., who had been battling osteosarcoma for the past two years, was airlifted to the hospital the night before.
Martinez heard the news from 2013 signee Cameron Sutton and asked Moore and Walls to pay her a visit.
The duo passed the time waiting for Norman to wake up by handing out Easter baskets at the hospital, but when she was awake they spent over an hour with her talking. By the time they left felt such a strong connection with the mature, young woman going through a life changing experience.
Walls' admiration for Norman made him to decide to recruit his defensive linemates to head to Jacksboro, Tenn. Friday morning to take part in the Walk for Katelyn Norman, a fundraiser to complete Katelyn's bucket list.
Unfortunately, prior to the start of the walk, at 8:19 a.m. Norman passed away from the aggressive form of bone cancer that she battled for nearly two years.
The story of Katelyn Norman has reached not only those in Tennessee but also across the country. Norman realized this herself when tweets flooded in from not only her favorite band, Of Mice & Men, but also from the likes of Donald Trump.
According to family friend Jeannie Wallace, when Katelyn found out about Trump's tweet she couldn't believe how far her story had reached.
The decision to visit Norman on Wednesday, just two days before she passed away, was something that changed the lives of Moore and Walls, while her story has touched the hearts of the East Tennessee community and beyond.
Read what Moore had to say about Norman's passing: HERE