MCDONOUGH, Ga. – A Henry County cheerleader faces one of her toughest battles, but she’s determined not to let it slow her down.
17-year-old Abigail Tatum has an inoperable form of brain cancer. She was first diagnosed and treated five years ago, but the cancer has returned.
“This morning I had my first intravenous chemotherapy,” Abby told Channel 2’s Berndt Petersen.
Despite chemo on Friday morning, Abby went to cheerleading practice at Ola High School that same afternoon.
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“I don’t know how she does it. Neither do we. But she does it with grace and she’s taken every obstacle in her life and she’s done it wonderfully,” assistant cheerleading coach Kayla Woodward said.
“She doesn’t think about what if. She thinks about ways to find a yes instead of a no,” said cheerleading coach Chelsea McCreary.
Abby has spent the last four years on the varsity team without missing a game or competition.
“She’s incredibly good. Having brain cancer and being able to do this tough sport, something that most people can’t do or push through injuries regularly. She’s doing this for brain cancer for the second time again. It’s incredible,” said his partner Amaya Rivera.
This season, the Ola Mustangs Football Team decorated their helmets with a gold ribbon with Abby’s initials to mark childhood cancer awareness month.
Abby named her tumor George, and dozens of staff and students at the school are showing their support by wearing special t-shirts that say “Not Today, George.”
Abby says her friends on the cheerleading squad are like family, and she won’t let them down
“Cheerleading is where I can get away from everything in the world. When I step on that mat or out on the sidelines, there’s nothing in the world that can stop me. That’s where I feel most confident,” said Abby .
She cheered on the Ola Mustangs at the Thursday night football game, had chemotherapy on Friday morning, cheerleading practice on Friday afternoon and will participate in the Starr’s Mill Invitational cheer competition on Saturday.
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