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NOT GIVING UP: Special needs cheerleader is in need of teammates

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) – It’s easy to drive down Industrial Road in the Fort and see nothing but businesses.

However, tucked away inside one of those buildings is something that gives “work” a whole new meaning.

That something is a young girl who some may say the odds are against her, but try telling her that.

The space tucked away, is a competitive cheerleading gym that houses an athlete who inspires other athletes, her coaches, and we think you.

From the outside looking in Indiana Ultimate looks like any other competitive cheerleading gym.

Around 400 athletes train year round, competing numerous times a year, receiving more than 5 national awards this year. Recently becoming the first team in Indiana to take the world title.

There is one athlete who, perhaps, shines a little brighter.

Cassie Suriani has yet to miss a single practice. For Cassie practice is just fun. Cassie was born with down syndrome, but doesn’t let her disability hold her back.

No matter how many times she falls, time and time again she get’s back up.

“Not giving up” has become a bit of a family motto. Not only is Cassie a tough athlete, she’s a pioneer.

Right now, Cassie is the only one on her cheer quad.

She’s been training since last November, but she can’t compete until four other athletes join to form a special abilities cheer squad.

The special abilities team is recruiting, you can head over to their Facebook page for information on how to register an athlete.

Kaitlyn Kendall

Kaitlyn Kendall anchors ABC21 news at 5 and is the chief investigative reporter for the stations Digging Deeper team.

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