Katie Baden has always been quite the dynamic cheerleader. She grew up as a fierce competitor for Georgia All Stars and cheered in college for the University of South Carolina. At just 25 years old, Katie has already accomplished a lot in both cheerleading and academics. There is no doubting her strength, as she’s making even more of an impact in her community and the cheerleading world by taking on a new opponent – cancer.
Within a week of Katie announcing her diagnosis, her closest family and friends began raising awareness for her fight. Their motto? “Cancer Can’t Do Backflips, But Katie Can!” Immediately, Katie’s story began touching the hearts of not only her family, friends and teammates, but of cheerleaders everywhere.
“Katie handled this just like every other difficult situation she’s encountered in her life – with a smile and a laugh. From shaving her head to dragging an IV pole everywhere she goes, she’s found the silver lining, whereas most people would focus on the circumstances,” said Nicole Doran, her friend and South Carolina teammate. “She knows she can beat this. It’s kind of like getting through a cheerleading routine. It’s going to be tough, your strength is going to be challenged and you’re going to forget how to breathe halfway through, but ultimately, it will end, and you’ll be just fine.”
The South Carolina cheerleaders of course sent out love for one of their own, but Katie has also received support from other teams. Cheer squads across the nation started sending in videos to reach out in support of Katie and created traditional school cheers just for her! Check out the University of Georgia’s video for Katie:
Vanderbilt, Michigan, Clemson, Kentucky, Appalachian State—you name it—everyone was sending in videos flipping for Katie and cheering her on. Even one of USC’s former mascots, who is now a cast member at The Walt Disney World Resort, passed along a special message from the one and only Mickey Mouse:
As cheerleaders, we support each other and build others up, and there’s nothing we love more than a big WIN! Thank you to the cheerleaders and coaches who have already shown their support to Katie. Whether we say “Sic ’em, Dawgs,” “Go Big Blue,” or “GOOO GAMECOCKS,” we’re all cheering for Katie! She is in our thoughts and prayers, and we know that “cancer can’t do backflips, BUT KATIE CAN!”
For updates and more ways to support Katie’s fight against cancer, visit her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/cancercantdobackflips and her CaringBridge page at http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/katiebaden.