When you become part of an all star cheerleading program, you are not only becoming part of a team but part of a family. Your coach becomes a second parent. Your teammates become your sisters. Before you know it your weekends, holidays, and even down time is spent with your other family. What happens when someone from your family is forced to fight a battle? You form an army and fight it together. That is exactly what the owners of Eastern Elite All Stars did. Here is the amazing story of Mrs. Mary and her army as told to us by Karen Eisenhuth, co-owner of Eastern Elite All Stars with Trisha Quinn.
“I have often heard that our gym is a second home to most and our teams. The gym is often referred to as our athletes’ O’hana, which means family in Hawaiian. Last season, one of our team moms was diagnosed with breast cancer and our cheer and dance family was truly tested. When my business partner Trish and I found out that Mary was diagnosed, we created Mary’s Army! We joined together to do everything in our power to show her all the love and support that she deserves. Team moms helped organize meals, collected gift cards for groceries, gas, and cleaning services so that Mary and her family only had to concentrate on beating this horrible disease. Our families, athletes, and staff did not hesitate to step up for the cause. Our teenage athletes solicited prayers and support from their peers via social media sites. Our younger athletes created dance routines, colored pictures, and made rubber bracelets to show their love for her.
“Last year we dedicated our season to our Mrs. Mary. Her strength has, and will always inspire us to band together and FIGHT for our dreams! I hear our athletes motivating others by telling them “Mary wouldn’t give up so keep pushing,” or “we have to fight for it because Mrs. Mary fights for us everyday.” We have been so inspired by Mary’s determination and perseverance. Our unity has grown as a tribute to Mary’s Army. Together we have not only been successful on the mat, but we have also united to raise money and awareness for Susan G Komen’s Race for the Cure and Philadelphia Children’s Hospital’s Center for Childhood Cancer Awareness.
“Throughout last year our program learned so many life lessons. I feel the most important thing that we have learned is that as individuals we can do so little, but together as Mary’s Army….WE CAN accomplish anything that we set our hearts and minds to! Mary has since BEAT CANCER just as she intended to and is still the beacon of strength that she was through it all. Mary is one of my heroes and we are truly blessed to have such an amazing role model in our gym.”