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Calgary girl with brain tumour pursues her cheerleading dream
Published Monday, May 2, 2016 4:11PM MDT
Last Updated Monday, May 2, 2016 7:06PM MDT
Natasha Gould, 12, performed with her cheerleading squad at a concert despite battling an inoperable brain tumour.
Recording artist Omi is best known for his hit “Cheerleader”, and on the weekend, he found himself one here in Calgary.
12 year old Natasha Gould performed at Omi’s concert with her cheerleading squad, and was white-hatted by the city too.
“Yeah, it was pretty awesome!” she said. “It was really cool for all my cheer team to meet him, it was just really fun.”
Natasha was diagnosed last year with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Gliomas (DIPG), a type of cancer that winds itself around the brainstem. Tumour cells are interwoven with healthy cells, making surgical removal impossible.
At first, it meant the end of her dream to be a cheerleader, but Natasha’s unconquerable spirit and faith in God gave her the strength to pursue it anyway.
“It’s always nice to have that comfort there,” she said. “Because I know that God loves everyone on this earth and it’s all about having a relationship with him.”
She became an honourary member of the Calgary Stars Gymnastics and Cheerleading Club, and has performed with them on several occasions, including at the Omi concert. While many are calling Natasha an inspiration, she is philosophical about it.
“I think that having cancer has changed the way I look at life a little bit,” she said. “Instead of saying I should feel bad for others, my preference has changed a little bit in saying that I should help others feel better.”
When she isn’t performing, she is fighting her battle against cancer, and keeping an optimistic outlook.
“I just recently found out the radiation has worked on my tumour a little bit and parts of it are dying off, but it’s pushing on my neck, so my muscles aren’t getting better.”
Now that Natasha has become a local celebrity, she is setting her sights even higher.
“I want to go on Ellen!” she said.
Natasha’s family has created a blog to help in the fight against childhood cancer. For more information, visit Pray for Natasha.