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Cheer team dance inspired by fight against cancer

Megan Meador

Cheer team dance inspired by fight against cancer

By Megan Marsden Christensen | Posted - Aug. 27, 2015 at 7:04 p.m.


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SALEM — A local cheer squad is dancing in honor of those impacted by cancer in their community at the Relay For Life Saturday.

The Payson All-Star Cheerleaders began participating in Relay for Life in 2012, the year after their coach Megan Meador's sister, Brooke Barnes, was diagnosed with leukemia.

The same year Barnes was diagnosed, their co-coach Nicole Clements' husband Paul died from brain cancer.

Barnes joined the girls as they concluded their dance to Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger," and this year, the same dance will be dedicated to Barnes, who died May 13.

Meador said their full performance will be the closing ceremony for Relay for Life, and will include a dance to Rachel Platten's "Fight Song," a 12-minute slideshow highlighting stories of the girls' loved ones with cancer and "Stronger."

During "Stronger," a video of Barnes dancing with the team four years ago will be projected.

The cheer team got to know Barnes, so her cancer impacted them all. Since she was 19 when she was diagnosed, it put her young age into perspective for the team.

"It really hits home to all of them, because they can see cancer doesn't just happen to older people or just babies, it's all ages," Meador said.


It really hits home to all of them, because they can see cancer doesn't just happen to older people or just babies, it's all ages.

–Megan Meador, Payson All-Star Cheer coach


Meador said Barnes' motto was "life may get you down, but you can always dance through it."

"We hope that even if you're battling something really hard, that something good can always come from it," Meador said.

The whole team is affected in one way or another by cancer, Meador said, and this is their way of giving back.

"It's really touching for everybody involved and the community, because it's a lot of friends and family they all know," Meador said.

The 15- to 20-minute performance will begin around 8:45 p.m. and take place on the Salem Hills High School football field.

The performance is free to the public.

The Relay for Life takes place Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. To learn more about this particular Relay for Life, visit the website.

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Megan Marsden Christensen

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