Rootin' for Regen: East Tennesseans follow 12-year-old's story to the big screen

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SEVIER COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Many East Tennesseans have followed the story of Regen Morris, a Sevier County 12-year-old who passed away from brain cancer in 2013.

While his community donated money and spent countless hours praying for his recovery, the story of his faith and family was adapted for the big screen. The movie, titled 'Hammer: The Rootin' for Regen Story,' premiered at 8 p.m. Friday night at the Country Tonite Theatre in Pigeon Forge.

The movie follows the story of Regen, who was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer in December 2012. He passed away on Christmas Day in 2013.

"His life was a testimony that gave people renewed hope in friends, family, community and God," the Rootin' For Regen website described. "Lives were changed forever."

Local 8 News reporter David Ball caught up with Kole Benfield, the actor who played Regen, backstage at Friday's event.

"At first I didn't really know anybody here," Benfield said. "At first, it was just another movie, but I learned about the family and it was fun to film. [Regen's family] became a second family, we visit with them and all the kids. Tisha is like a second mom, and Dan is a second dad."

For more information about the movie, visit the Rootin' For Regen website.

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