Community raises funds and support for young cancer survivor

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SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Hundreds gathered at Wilderness of the Smokies Sunday to raise money for Regen Morris, a 12-year-old battling brain cancer.

Regen returned home after 5 months at St. Jude two weeks ago. Now friends are organizing fundraisers to help his family buy a new van that will help them transport Regen to and from doctor and therapist appointments.

Wilderness of the Smokies donated ticket funds from all three of their waterparks to the family Sunday.

"On behalf of Wilderness, we are humbled and proud to be part of the communities efforts as they continue to Root for Regen. It is our hope that a day like today will assist the Morris family with some of the many changes they have had to face," said general manager Steve Cruz.

Friends and family say Regen has improved my leaps and bounds since returning home, saying close proximity to those he love is the medicine he needed.

"I try to do anything possible to make Regan laugh and so I like to tell him before I leave I like to jump on his bed and dance and he gets this smile from ear to ear," said family friend Stacy Champagne.

Regen's still working to regain the strength to move his arms and speak, but that's not stopping friends from catching up with him after five long months apart.

"He just got a wheelchair. And I was looking at it and fidgeting with it to see what I could do to it... like strap a motor on it or put some flames on it like he said he wanted some. He nodded when I said to put some flames on it or something like that," said Regen's best friend Aaron Johns.

The next fundraiser for Regen will be a motorcycle ride on May 4th. The group will meet at Smokies Park, kick stands up at 2:30 p.m.

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