Cancer Survivor Competes At NHSCC


Cheerleaders are the support systems of their communities. They support their school athletics and student body with pride and spirit. But this special cheerleader is urging her fellow spirit leaders to put their support behind a very special cause that's close to her heart.

At only two years old, Ella Behnke was diagnosed with a rare blood cancer. She had multiple bone fractures and after thorough testing they discovered a tumor in her chest so large it had displaced her heart. 

Luckily Ella, who is now 15, is cancer free and is living life to the fullest as an Alamo Heights Cheerleader. She is determined to give back to the organization that saved her. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society® (LLS) is the foundation that helped Ella return to her normal life. LLS exists to find cures and ensure access to treatments for all blood cancer patients.

Find a cure not someday, but today.

"Since Ella was diagnosed my wife and I became very involved with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society." Explained Ella's father Bill Behnke. "We believe educating our cheerleaders on how terrible this disease is as well and teaching them how important it is to give back as young men and women is essential to helping us find a cure"

Ella is now participating in a campaigned called "Student of the Year" that's led by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and has set a goal of raising $500,000.

"Cheer has always been an important part of Ella's life, and blood cancers don't discriminate, they impact newborns all the way to individuals in their 70's +." Said Bill Behnke. "Education is key and the cheer world is a great place to get the word out!"

For more information on Ella's campaign, visit her Facebook page "Open Your Heart with Ella" or click here.

 Watch Ella and rest of the Alamo Heights Cheerleaders perform LIVE at UCA National High School Cheerleading Championship at 2:48 PM ET!

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