LIFE

Cheerleader And Wheelchair User Wows With Inspiring Cheer Routine

by Melissa Castellanos
Melissa Castellanos is a passionate storyteller with a huge heart and a great sense of humor. Through her work at Coulter Press/Telegram & Gazette, MetroWest Daily News, CBSNews.com, CBS This Morning, CBS Sunday Morning and LatinPost.com, she has been able to amplify the voices, unwavering spirits and creative contributions of her subjects.

Cheerleading has just soared to a whole new level of respect as an all-ability cheerleading team from Newcastle, New South Wales, proved that there’s no such thing as a disability, but only ability.

Determined cheerleader and wheelchair user, Deb, helped bring the Oxygen All Stars Lithium team to first place when she was assisted out of her wheelchair and wowed the crowd with lifts, summersaults, and flips!

In a beautiful and touching moment, the crowd roared when she was unexpectedly lifted out of her wheelchair, which must have been such a powerful and liberating moment for her. You can see the joy and determination on her face, which tugs at your heartstrings.

“I’m overwhelmed. I didn’t think I would be inspiring people, but I have, and that’s just amazing,” she told the U.K.’s Daily Mail. “If you’ve got a disability, nothing is impossible, there’s only ability if you believe in yourself.”

We’ve seen flickers of this kind of magic when special-needs kids got their own all-inclusive baseball team, and a student who helped shine the light on special-needs students who wanted to take part in cheerleading as well.

Deb, who studies IT at her university, has been amazed by the outpouring of support on social media. Since the team’s performance was posted online on Saturday, it’s had over 2 million views and been liked more than 30,000 times — and growing!

The team’s first-place win and her newfound “fame” have further fueled her love for cheerleading.

“I’m not giving up anytime soon,” she said.

Check out this heartfelt video where Deb’s dreams come true, and you can’t help but be her biggest cheerleader!

Please SHARE this inspiring story with friends and family of wheelchair users and all-ability sports teams!

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