It was during the 2011 Spring Sing, a karaoke night where kids with cancer get to sing with OSU athletes, that Morgan met Moore. She had just come through her second bout with cancer, needing her left kidney removed and going through another long string of chemo, but she was the life of the party.
“She just has that personality that you're just kind of drawn to,” Moore said.
He actually saw a lot of himself in Morgan. Outgoing. Fun loving. Always smiling.
So, when Morgan and young friend Olivia Hamilton — known around the college football world as Justin Blackmon's super fan — went onstage to sing something from Hannah Montana, Moore and Blackmon decided to tag along.
Moore swears he didn't know the song.
“She did most of the singin',” he said. “Me and Justin did the background dancin'.”
That night, a bond was formed, and when Moore saw Morgan a few months later at a football game, they exchanged numbers and have been in regular contact ever since. He checked on her through her third bout with cancer when tumors popped up on her vertebrae and needed nearly two months of proton radiation. And through her fourth bout when the cancer appeared on her right kidney and lungs. And now through her fifth bout, which forced her to drop out of her first semester at Tulsa Community College.
A small tumor on her right kidney has already been removed, and now, she is undergoing chemo for three spots on her left lung.
“God has this!” is her motto.
Morgan has a deep-seeded faith that those around her say is the source of her strength and sunny disposition. She posts videos on Instagram of her singing along with the car radio. She wears goofy wigs for pictures that appear on her Facebook page, Morgan's Fight = My Fight.
But Morgan believes that her friendship with Moore, which has extended to their families getting to know each other, is part of a divine plan for her battle with cancer.
“I just really believe it's like an angel sent from God,” she said. “He has touched me and my family's lives in ways he will never know.”
He texts. He calls. He has even visited the hospital on occasion.
“He has done a lot of sweet things for me that have taken my mind off having to go through something so bad,” she said.
Sometimes, Morgan and Moore try to convince each other who's the bigger inspiration.
“You're my hero,” he will say.
“No, you don't get it,” she will say. “You're mine.”
And with that, they'll both smile, her with that toothy grin, him with those dimples.
Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at (405) 475-4125. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.