Community Mourns Howell Teen Who Lost Her Battle With Cancer

Katelyn Morales (Photo courtesy Shannon Sullivan)

  HOWELL – After a courageous battle with lymphoma, 14-year-old Katelyn Morales of Howell has sadly passed away.

  Katelyn was born on April 11, 2009 in Toms River. She moved to Howell during elementary school and recently graduated 8th grade from Howell Middle School South. She was in her freshman year at Red Bank Catholic High School.    

  She was a scholar student and a star athlete that excelled in soccer, track and basketball. Soccer was her passion, and she was a member of the nationally ranked BOCA O’Hara Soccer Team, her obituary states.

  Katelyn was diagnosed with T-cell lymphoma that had quickly spread to multiple parts of her body. According to her doctors, this is a rare form of cancer that took months to diagnose and is very difficult to treat. She was receiving radiation, chemotherapy treatments, blood transfusions, and more. In addition, she suffered from a number of side effects due to the treatments including her ability to walk, as a tumor was pressing on her spinal cord.

  Katelyn was an inpatient at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and passed away on January 10 surrounded by her loving family, her obituary states.

  “Katelyn was beautiful, kind, strong and selfless… When she wasn’t playing soccer, she could be found at Manasquan beach and enjoyed catching a sunrise or a sunset. She loved nothing more than spending time with her countless, amazing friends. She also loved vacationing with family, reading, Taylor Swift and the color pink. She will be missed tremendously,” her obituary states.

  Katelyn is predeceased by her grandfather Antonio Morales and beloved dogs Charlie, Max and Molly. She is survived by her mother, Tabatha, father, Jamie, sister Madison, brother Taylor, maternal grandparents Mary and Joseph Deanni, Thomas Brenner, paternal grandmother Myrna Morales, “aunt” Jul-Jul, many other aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. 

  A viewing will be held on January 19 from 4 to 8 p.m. at O’Brien Funeral Home, 505 Burnt Tavern Road, Brick, for family and friends. A Mass will be celebrated on January 20 at 10:30 a.m. at St. William the Abbot RC Church, Howell. Burial will follow at Greenwood Cemetery, Brielle.

  In lieu of flowers, family is suggesting donations to be made in Katelyn’s memory to Ocean of Love for children with cancer or The Ashley Lauren Foundation. You can send donations directly via Venmo @TheAshleyLaurenFoundation Note: For Katelyn Morales; or mail a check to The Ashley Foundation 617 Union Avenue, Building 3 Suit 27 Brielle, NJ 08730. Indicate Katelyn Morales in the notes.

  Additionally, Madison is a captain of a Relay for Life team in honor of her sister, and all proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society.