A year and a half ago, as a young girl headed into her teenage years, Sammy Grant was more in love with her cheer team than ever before. Being a part of the Rock Starz All Stars gave Sammy the opportunity to compete at a highly competitive level. Being a Rock Star changed the way she saw a meaning of a team. “Cheerleading is a team, not individual sport.”
Being a Rock Star means the world to Sammy. She is passionate, enthusiastic and dedicated in all ways possible. Her team is her extended family. The coaches, staff and teammates have always been supportive, especially when she needed it most.
In Sammy’s eyes, being a Rock Star means you are powerful, strong and brave. Each and every day you push yourself to be the best and most dedicated athlete you can be for your team. When Sammy learned she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, one of her biggest concerns was the possibility of letting her team down. For over a year, she kept her health issues far from her team. She knew that if she stayed strong and focused that she would be able to continue to do the things she loves with the people she adores. Sammy’s positive attitude and persistence allowed her to keep focused on cheer and not worry about her health.
One year later, the thyroid cancer spread into her lungs. This overwhelming news almost felt like too much to handle until the Rock Starz reminded her just how special she was to them. Just as the Rock Starz had meant the world to Sammy, she had meant the world to them. Every step of Sammy’s battle, her coaches and teammates have been some of her biggest and most dedicated supporters.
Sammy is sure that what she is going through now will not change her life forever. With the support of her family and teammates, she feels as if she can make it through anything. What motivates her is seeing the older girls cheer at such a high competitive and skillful level. She aspires to one day be as good as them and she’s confident she will get there.
In the last few months, Sammy’s Rock Star team has competitively excelled beyond all expectations. Due to their hard work, dedication and passion for cheer, her team has earned a spot at Summit, a national competition located in Disney World. She is beyond excited to attend this competition for the first time and to hear her team’s name called in front of some of the best cheer athletes in the nation.
Sammy’s story is an inspiration to many. With the support of her family and the Rock Starz, she has been able to keep doing what she loves, and doing it well. Each and every day she is grateful to have such a large support system. At age 13, Sammy has an extensive list of ways in which she hopes to raise awareness and give back to the people that have given so much to her. After being selected to “Make a Wish,” Sammy has wished to give. She wants to partner with Lokai bracelets to create a special bracelet just to raise money for pediatric thyroid cancer. With the proceeds, she would first and foremost like to donate to The Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania and cancer research. She would also like to host fundraisers in support of children battling pediatric thyroid cancer.
For Sammy, the sky is the limit. Her mission is to provide other children with the inspiration they need to remain positive and keep fighting the battle that she knows can be beat. She wants them to know that together anything is possible. Life is about being on a team with the people you love. No one has to accomplish anything alone.
A quote from the Director of Rock Starz & Sammy’s Coach, Chris Lanctot
"Sometimes an athlete comes into your gym & you realize there is something very special about them. That happened well before Sammy was ever diagnosed with cancer. She's a hard working, dedicated athlete that has a passion for this sport & for her team that motives everyone around her. Then cancer came into the picture...did it stop her? Not one bit! She is that athlete that schedules her treatments and surgeries around competitions so she won't let her teams down. Sometimes she's tired or still regaining her strength afterwards but she never stops pushing herself or her teammates. She is the epitome of a true team player. As coaches we are so lucky to have her in our Rock Starz program & our lives. I have no doubt that she will continue to inspire those around her in & out of the gym. No one is better suited to be a help, a comfort & a source of strength for other kids & families fighting cancer than Sammy." #weRSammystrong
*Sammy's Story can also be found in the April 2016 edition of Cheerleader Magazine