the bad pass that saved a kid’s life…very cool story


1 Response to “the bad pass that saved a kid’s life…very cool story”

  1. February 4, 2010 at 2:07 PM

    There are a lot of people to thank in this story as a young girl, a seventh-grade cheerleader at Royal Palm Junior High in Phoenix, Ariz., learns the real benefit of youth sports.

    This is a story that confirms that there is more to youth sports than winning and losing.

    The first person that Megan Schneiderman needs to thank is that seventh-grade basketball player with very poor basketball skills. He made such a horrible pass that went sailing out of bounds and hits Megan, the cheerleader right on the back of the head. Not only did this pass miss its intended target, but it was fired like a rocket.

    It hurt so bad that Megan went up to sit a few rows up the bleachers next to Julie Starke, her cheer coach. She could only hold back the tears for a short while as Mrs. Starke tried to comfort her.

    “As soon as I asked her if she was OK the tears started to come,” said Starke. “After a few minutes of talking with her, I realized she had the symptoms of a concussion.”

    They took Megan to the emergency room just to have her checked out. After a routine series of tests, including a CT scan, the doctors called Megan’s parents into his office.

    “He told us that we should sit down before he told us what the tests found”, Megan’s mom, Sharon, told me.

    Then came the news that no parent ever wants to hear: They found a tumor the size of a lime at the base of Megan’s brain.

    Within 24 hours Megan was on the operating table for six hours only to find that they needed to go back in to get more of the tumor. Two days and four hours later they got it all!

    Megan was as brave as anyone could be. This sweet girl was a champion.

    “Were you scared?” I asked her.

    “Only a little,” she said. “I was afraid I was going to lose my hair.”

    “How do you feel now”?

    “Thankful! I have lots of friends that come over and visit me”!

    Now comes all the rehab for Megan. Physical therapy has become a major priority and function in her life. The double vision is gone and the partial left side paralysis – typical symptoms after this kind of surgery – is mostly gone. She also plans to be back at school in just a few weeks.

    This next part of the story is heartwarming and again why relationships and community fostered through youth sports is so important.

    Because of the cost involved in being a cheerleader and the camps that this Royal Palm School cheerleading team will attend, fundraising events are critical.

    This week’s Boot Camp (the equivalent to a sports camp) was planned months ago to raise the money to send this cheerleading squad to camp. Cheerleaders of all ages and from all over were invited to come and spend the day honing in on their skill level. The money raised was needed by all the families to afford this upcoming camp. The highlight of the morning is when three Arizona Cardinals cheerleaders showed up in support of Megan!

    Well, all the girls and families decided to donate the money to the Schneiderman family to help with their medical expenses. What an awesome gesture of love and sacrifice for their friend and teammate.

    So, on behalf of this very sweet and brave girl many thanks go out:

    – To the cheerleading squad and their families.

    – Julie Starke.

    – The Arizona Cardinals cheerleading squad.

    – That basketball player who threw such a bad pass.

    We are all excited for you Megan and can’t wait for you to be back in that cheer line rooting your team on to victory.

    Go Megan!

    If you have questions or comments for Tom Kuyper, e-mail him at tomkuyper@kidsandsports.com

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