Overcoming Obstacles

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Lexi Gude grew up a multi- sport athlete. Until age 11 she filled her time playing softball, soccer and cheerleading. Right before her 12th birthday she got life changing news. Lexi was diagnosed with Lebers Hereditary Optic Neuropathy, a condition in which causes loss of eyesight. Upon initially receiving her diagnosis, Lexi felt defeated and lacked motivation until she realized that she could still participate in cheerleading. She put all of her efforts into cheerleading and it changed her outlook.

When Lexi got back into cheerleading she felt like she had tangible goals again. She set high expectations for herself, worked hard and stayed focused. After cheering on all star teams and improving her skills, once she got to high school she tried out for the team. As a freshman Lexi made the varsity squad- a huge accomplishment!

“Cheerleading is also a place of comfort where I can let all my daily struggles disappear,” said Lexi. Cheerleading gives Lexi an escape from reality. It’s given her the confidence to succeed and help others. Lexi participates in leadership classes, mentoring other students on campus, and is the student demonstrator with a youth cheer team.

“Cheerleading has helped me get through tough times because when I am doing it, I feel like my ability is stronger than my disability,” said Lexi. Her experience has given her a new outlook on what she’s able to accomplish. “It shaped me to be a better leader, athlete and overall a better person.”


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