October is Down Syndrome awareness month.
In Waynesville there’s a high school cheerleader not only raising awareness, but also raising spirits by getting football fans pumped up for the game.
Isabel Trower is now a senior on the Tigers cheer squad. She knew since she was a child – she wanted to be a cheerleader.
“Ever since I was little I used to dance,” Isabel said.
“Isabel used to dance to the beat of the dishwasher beat,” Isabel’s father, Terry said.
“The crowd loves to watch her,” cheer coach Justice Miller said. “They have fun, and it just makes everybody smile and want to dance along too.”
That passion for dancing lead to the desire to cheer. It’s something her mom did when she went to high school.
“Anytime I try to do something she tells me my days are over,” Isabel’s mother Connie said. “It is not your time mom.”
“She brings so much joy to our program,” Miller said. “She gives the girls a smile anytime they need one. Izzy is just like a sister to all of the girls.”
“When she was in middle school they didn’t have cheerleaders,” Connie said. “So she didn’t have an outlet for a social life. She was sad a lot, being left out of things.”
“But once she made the cheerleading squad it was great because she had an instant friendships, and a social life.”
“Since I first met my cheer friends since the day I was a freshman, they have been really great to me,” Isabel said.
Isabel is now a varsity cheerleader. It wasn’t handed to her; she had to work for it.
“She comes in and does everything all the other girls do,” Miller said.
“If the girls are running, she is running, if they are conditioning, she is conditioning. When we do our dances and performances over and over again, she is right there with not a lick of complaints from her.”
“It is really good having a great time with my friends and having fun in life,” Isabel said.
Isabel is a true example of being able to achieve your dreams no matter the obstacle.
“I spent so much time thinking about the things that she wasn’t going to get to do,” Connie said. “And I hope that someone who sees this, that maybe has a child with a disability, allows themself to dream big.”
Next year, Isabel is hoping to attend MSU and participate in its Bear Power program.