10-Year-Old Cheers Her Way Back After Brain Hemorrhage, Stroke

Kiki Cunningham

(lohud) – After a two-year break from cheerleading, Keira Cunningham is back with her crew. She has every routine down pat. She knows the music by heart. Hardly a surprise for a 10-year-old who joined her Upward Sports cheerleading squad when she was 4.

Except that Keira, whom friends and family call Kiki, continues to recover from a rare and devastating brain damage that she suffered in September 2017.

On a recent Saturday morning, she takes the court with her squad at Gracepoint Gospel Fellowship in her purple, white and gold cheerleading outfit.

But Keira cannot walk onto the court herself; she cannot make her soft voice heard, although she mouths the chants; she cannot kick and spin. But she can make her pompoms shimmy. And she can try and try and try. CONTINUE