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Sparks Cheerleaders Have Spirit

Sparks Cheerleaders Have Spirit


WE HAVE ALL SEEN CHEERLEADERS IN THEIR MAIN ROLE TO LIFT SPIRITS AT SPORTING EVENTS A LOCAL TEAM FROM NEW JERSEY THAT HOPES TO GET EVERYONE GOING. CINDY HSU IS HERE TO INTRODUCE US TO THE SPARKS. [ CHEERING ] Reporter: MEET THE SPARKS CHEERLEADERS, A TEAM OF SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN WHO PERFORM ALL OVER NEW JERSEY SHOWCASING THEIR SKILLS AT GAMES AND COMPETITIONS. DEBORAH STARTED THE TEAM 11 YEARS AGO WHEN HER GRANDSON TYLER WAS DIAGNOSED WITH AUTISM. HE IS NOW 15. LOUD NOISE, LOUD MUSIC, BRIGHT LIGHTS, CROWDS, ALL THE THINGS THAT THEY SAY THAT OUR KIDS ARE NOT CAPABLE DOING AND THEY DO IT WEEK AFTER WEEK. Reporter: 6-YEAR-OLD SAVANNAH HAS A RARE GENETIC ORDER. SHE CAN HAVE MORE THAN 150 SEIZURES A DAY. HER MOTHER SAYS SPARKS IS HER FAMILY ON AND OFF THE MAT. WE ALMOST LOST HER THIS PAST JANUARY DUE TO THE SEIZURES BUT SHE IS THRIVING AND GETTING STRONGER. Reporter: SEVERAL HIGH SCHOOL CHEERLEADERS VOLUNTEER WITH THE TEAM AND SAY THE EXPERIENCE CHANGED THEIR LIVES. I’M GOING TO COLLEGE NEXT YEAR AND I DIDN’T KNOW WHAT I WANTED TO DO BUT WORKING WITH THEM I WANT TO GO INTO, LIKE, SPECIAL NEEDS AND HELP PEOPLE. I ALWAYS WANTED TO BE A TEACHER SO NOW I WANT TO, LIKE, GO MORE TOWARDS, LIKE, SPECIAL NEEDS TEACHING. Reporter: EMILY HAS BIG DREAMS. GO TO COLLEGE. I WANT TO BE WHEN I GROW UP A FASHION DESIGNER. Reporter: FRANCESCA HAS AUTISM AND WAS A LITTLE GIRL WHEN SHE STARTED. SHE IS NOW 16 AND HER LITTLE BROTHER CONNOR JOINED THE TEAM TO GIVE HER SOME HELP WITH COMPLICATED STUNTS. SPARKS IS A GREAT ORGANIZATION AND THAT IT’S CHANGED BOTH OF OUR LIVES. Reporter: TELL ME HOW IT’S CHANGED YOUR LIVES? IT’S A WHOLE GROUP OF SPECIAL NEEDS COMMUNITY AND THEY CAN ALL TURN TO EACH OTHER AND THEY ARE NOT SINGLED OUT BY ANYBODY. EVEN AT COMPETITIONS, EVERYBODY KNOWS, EVERYBODY UNDERSTANDS. Reporter: IT’S UNDERSTANDING AND AWARENESS THE SPARKS WANT TO PASS ON. THEIR FIRST COMPETITION THIS YEAR IS IN NOVEMBER AND THEY ARE ALSO THE FOCUS OF A DOCUMENTARY SO THE SKY’S THE LIMIT FOR THIS GROUP. CINDY HSU, CBS 2 NEWS. THE TEAM HAS BEEN INVITED TO PERFORM AT A CLEAR LEADING COMPETITION AT DISNEYWORLD SO THEIR NEXT GOAL IS TO RAISE MONEY TO GET THERE. UNSTOPPABLE. WISH THEM WELL. YOU BET.

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