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Benefit for Katelyn Norton

During a visit to the doctor for what Debbie thought was allergies that her daughter was suffering from, their battle began on November 11, 2011.  They mentioned that Katelyn’s ear was bothering her and in checking it, the doctor was stymied because he saw her ear bones were moving but her nerves were not.  He ordered an immediate MRI and after those results were in, the Norton’s were told that Katelyn needed to go to Dell Children’s Medical Center now, not later.  After some testing, they determined that Katelyn suffered from a nerve sheath tumor in her skull the size of a baseball and that surgery was the only option.  However, the doctors did not give Debbie and Mike very much hope that she could survive and that they needed to start planning for a funeral.  Mike told the doctors that they didn’t know their daughter and that she was a “fighter”. 

The surgery was challenging because the doctors were working with a nerve the size of a piece of hair.  In the process, the tumor was removed however another nerve was nicked that controlled her ability to swallow.  So, even if Katelyn did survive, they were told that she would be on a feeding tube.  Mike was right, his daughter is a “fighter” and she survived and with the help of a physical therapist, Katelyn taught herself to swallow again.  But, challenges were still ahead.  Her stem cells and nerve cells were replicating and growing, making it a fast-growing tumor and, of course had to have daily trips to Dell Children’s Medical Center for seven months.  Everything was looking good and the doctors felt they had successfully removed the tumor.  But, during that next summer at another routine checkup, they discovered that the tumor was back. 

In the struggle to find help for her daughter, Debbie learned of a surgeon in Iowa that is considered one of the most knowledgeable about nerve sheath tumors.  They took her to Iowa for another surgery which ended up being multiple surgeries because the tumor resurfaced 3 different times.  At this time (2015), all the doctors believe that the tumor is gone, however she has to have constant follow up. 

Katelyn is now a 17 year old senior at Faith Academy in Marble Falls that wants to be “just a teenager”.  She does not want this dreaded disease to define her life now or in the future.  She says she has bigger and better things to do!   

In addition to Katelyn’s health battle, Mike had to have knee replacement surgery last year and he got an infection and has had to be out of work for several months putting an additional financial burden on the family.  And most recently, Debbie has been diagnosed with a heart condition as well.


CALL: 830-220-0266 for tickets or go to celebratinkatelyn.eventbrite.com


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