Fort Osage cheerleaders rally together as teen’s mom battles breast cancer

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- A state cheerleading championship isn't the only celebration at a metro high school.

One member of the Fort Osage High School cheer squad is cheering that her mom is winning her own fight.

Teammates who can be counted on are hard to find. Fort Osage cheerleader Allee Herman said it was mid-October when she learned her mother Shelley was fighting early-stage breast cancer.

On Tuesday, Herman said her mother had surgery to remove a large tumor and near by lymph nodes.

"It sucks having someone you're so close to have cancer," Herman said.

She spent two days in the hospital and came home Wednesday.  Herman said the surgery went well, which is something to cheer about.

"She doesn't want anyone to be upset about it or cry about it," she said. "She's fighting this. She wants everyone to know how strong she is."

Herman learned of her mother's cancer as the Indians cheerleaders were rehearsing for state championships, which they won for the first time in school history.

She said her teammates have supported her family -- as well as cancer-related causes -- the entire time.

The Indians cheerleaders walked in a recent Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, and anytime she's needed a friend, they've been there -- including Allye Roszell, who says her own mother is a cancer survivor.

"I told her she needs to be as strong as she can for her mom,:" Roszell said. "It's going to be very hard along the road. She pretty much needs to pray for her mom and her family."

The team is a sisterhood, Herman said, with a bond that can never be broken.