Cheering from a Chair - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/22/03

Cheering from a Chair

We've all been to pep rallys and they're all the same: a string of athletes, a few cheerleaders, a band, and a lot of school spirit. Well, that's what we thought, until we went to Mackenzie Junior High, and it seems they have something there that may be a first.

"Well, I think it's a dream she's had since her sister was a cheerleader," says Danny McAnear, Aubree's Father. "I was afraid she was going to get hurt, just like any other mom. I was afraid there would be a lot of disappointment," says says Mary McAnear, Aubree's Mother. "Then if they got past the judges, they went before the student body..." and the rest is history, because Aubree McAnear is one of the cheerleaders at Mackenzie Junior High School rolling right along with the rest of them.

"We're the only squad in the United States that I know of that has a wheelchair cheerleader and has made it successful.. Everybody in school is so excited," says Larita Patton, the Mackenzie Cheerleader Sponsor. None more than mom and dad, who've attended every pep rally to cheer for their favorite cheerleader.

So,the view for Aubree is more spectacular now, seeing a crowd in the stands; but she's been watching the world from a chair for as long as she can remember. "I was born with a birth defect called Spina Bifida which means my spinal cord was broken." Her spinal cord may of been broken, but not her spirit.

More than a Cheerleader, Aubree has been an inspiration to this crowd and a leader on this little team. Larita says, "They're a real tight knit group of girls. In fact, we had a special wheelie bar installed in the back of her wheelchair to help her be a base (of the pyramid)". Which means... Instead of always cheering on the side while the other girls shine Aubree became the anchor of it all, the center of the stunt that every yearbook will remember with a smile that no one could forget.

On Thursday, Aubree will cheer her last game at Mackenzie as the 9th grade plays its last game of the season and I bet a lot of the fans will be there to cheer for Aubree.

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