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17-year-old cheerleader isn’t letting a disability stop her from doing what she loves

<i>KTVT</i><br/>The support of her doctors
Arif, Merieme
The support of her doctors

By Olivia Leach

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    ROCKWALL, Texas (KTVT) — She’s used to cheering on others, but a cheerleader from Rockwall-Heath High School is now leaning on her teammates and family for support after a medical emergency changed her life forever.

As a competitive cheerleader, Brooke Walker has always known that this sport takes practice, determination and teamwork.

But she never knew she’d be using those skills in a fight to get back to the sport she loves. Back in February, she woke up in the middle of the night in excruciating pain.

Little did she know, she had a blood clot In her leg. She was rushed to the hospital and underwent five surgeries, three of them to try to save her leg.

“My parents came into the room and my mom was all teary eyed and I was like ‘I’m gonna lose my leg aren’t I?’ and she looked at me and she said ‘Yeah, you’re gonna lose it,'” Walker said.

Her whole world crumbled.

“I was just terrified that I’d never be able to do it again, I was afraid that whole part of my life had just gone away,” said Walker.

But the support of her doctors, teammates, and parents helped her see that this wasn’t the end of her cheer dreams.

“My mom was like, ‘If you want to cheer again, we’ll get you out there on the mat if not, then we’ll support you either way,'” said Walker. “But I wanted to cheer again.”

That’s why her family is raising money so that she can get a special carbon fiber prosthetic that will allow her to get back to doing all the cheer stunts she misses so much.

“I want to do a cartwheel again,” she said.

Her Heat teammates are supporting her along the way. At a recent competition, even though she couldn’t be there on the mat with them, she was still inspiring them off the mat.

“They all put DIFB on their arm which is ‘Do It For Brooke’,” said Walker. “I can’t tell you how special that is.”

As a teenage girl, going through this hasn’t been easy.

“I struggled with knowing who I was when I was going to lose my foot and my parents stood beside me and constantly reminded me that I wasn’t my foot, that I am who I am whether I have one leg or three,” said Walker.

She has no doubt she’ll see her cheer dreams come true.

“I wanna try out for college cheer next year,” said Walker.

She hopes to be back on the mat with her teammates next season.

“I am so excited, ever since there was a date for my prosthetic, I have been so excited every single day watching people [cheer], I’ll be like I’ll be out there with you soon,” Walker said.

If you’d like to help Walker make her dream of cheering again come true, you can contribute to the GoFundMe to purchase her special prosthetic here:

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