- Posted March 23, 2012 by
Peachtree City, Georgia
A 16 year old cheerleader,Madeline McTier, for the competition cheerleading company, ACE of Atlanta allstars, woke up on 3/19/12 with the worst headache of her life. Screaming in pain, she went to the doctor where they found a tumor, the size of a golf ball at the base of her brain stem. She was told she was scheduled for emergency surgery on 3/21/12. Her first question upon hearing the diagnosis was "When can I cheer again?" Although that question may seem odd but her level 5 coed competition squad, ACE Thunderbirds, were practicing for the Cheerleading Worlds competition in Disney World. This event is by invitation only and her team was very excited to compete among the best cheerleaders in the world. The immediate response from her coach, Chris Treherne(director of ACE of Atlanta) has been phenomenal. He sent emails to everyone explaining the severity of the situation and to pray hard for a fellow athlete which at ACE means, a family member. The outpoor of love and prayer became global when #prayformadeline began trending on twitter. Over 27,000 people have tweeted that and Madeline has gained 1,600 followers.Cheerleaders, friends, family, and kind strangers extended their love, support, and prayers to her via social networking. Chris Treherne made T-shirts to help raise money for her family to cover medical expenses. Anyone may purchase a shirt at acetribe.com, the shirts are $10. The shirt is pink with #prayformadeline on the back and a thunderbird on the front with 21B1H(21 birds 1 heart) in it. Less than 24 hours after the website was setup for the tshirt orders, $3000 had been made, local, national, and worldwide orders have been placed. Ontario and New Zealand are a couple places that ordered large orders. Several other competition gyms have been supporting Madeline by wearing red apparel, one of ACE's colors. The Stingray allstars in Marietta, GA made bracelets to support Madeline. The Top Gun allstars in Miami, FL and the GA allstars wore red for practice the week of her surgery. Top Gun allstars took a picture in red with the team members holding letters that spell out #prayformadeline. Madeline has a tough road ahead of her, but the camaraderie among cheerleaders across the world have inspired many, including her team. The severity of her surgery caused her teammates to unite in prayer and work hard towards the goal Madeline was working for. The ACE of Atlanta gym instructed all athletes practicing in the gym on Wednesday, 3/23, to wear as much pink as possible to support Madeline. After 7 hours of surgery the surgeon explained that they removed all of the tumor, that was visible. They explained that they were not expecting such a great result.The tumor was positive for cancer; however the cancer is in its first stage and the doctors are sure it was all removed. Madeline must now undergo chemotherapy. Although all this news has come so quickly she is determinded now, more than ever, to put up a fight. Madeline is in severe pain and still has a long road to recovery. The cheerleading world that spends many competitions competiting against ACE teams are showing their love for Madeline. This has been the most incredible use of social networking to pour love over Madeline. This has been amazing to witness and it is the most heart wrenching story to hear. The love of the teammate, the love of the team, the love of the gym, the love of the sport, and the love of friends and family have created a worldwide response for Madeline. The team's new motto, 21 birds 1 heart is spreading across the nation and is included in the teams new competition music, following the introduction, "This one's for Madeline."