Elvira Carrales: A true champion

As soon as Elvira Carrales came onto the gymnasium floor at Amarillo High School on Wednesday evening, it was evident that the 10-year-old was ready to live in the moment and get the crowd of around 1,000 people up on their feet.The pep rally in her honor, which lasted a little over an hour, gathered cheerleading squads from Dumas, Dalhart and Amarillo, members of the West Texas High School band, parents, family, students, and people who just wanted to see Carrales have that opportunity to live her dream of being a cheerleader for one day. Many of them carried signs with encouraging sayings like “We believe in you,” “Elvira Rocks,” and Elvira is a champion.”Carrales has battled Spinal Muscular Atrophy essentially since the time she was born and unfortunately, her family recently received news from doctors that they expect the disease to overtake the young girl in the coming months.In learning the story of Carrales and her dream of wanting to be a cheerleader, the West Texas High School Cheerleading Squad stepped up in a big way by giving Carrales the chance to be a part of their squad for the day and organizing the great event that took place on Wednesday evening.From the moment “I’ve Got a Feelin’” by the Black Eyed Peas came over the speakers, Carrales and the WT squad came onto the gym floor at Amarillo High for a pep rally in front of a crowd that was already excited to see the young girl live her dream.Shaking her pom-poms and making her way around in front of the stands, Carrales had a smile that made it obvious that she was nervous, but was ready to take advantage of being able to enjoy every minute. The WT Cheerleaders, along with Carrales, led the crowd in several different cheers, pumping up the crowd as the WT band played “The Hey Song” with the chorus changed to “Hey, go Elvira.”Members of Dance Steps Studio performed a routine and Carrales and the cheerleaing squad had some fun with a couple of games with members of the crowd.The event was one that was filled with joy and excitement in seeing the young girl being able to have the energy to fully take part in the activities that were planned and knowing that for one night, the Carrales family had a moment that they could forget about Elvira’s medical condition.Serving as the MC for the night, Dwight Kirksey took time to talk to the crowd that included talking about how Elvira’s attitude truly displayed the heart of a champion with the pastor saying, “Champions will inspire others and Elvira, who are definitely a champion.”Before the pep rally concluded the cheerleading squad from Westover Junior High in Amarillo presented Carrales with a couple of gifts that included one of their megaphones.Several of the West Texas High School Coaches meet the crowd with buckets to give people the opportunity to help out the Carrales family.What was on display on Wednesday evening was how people in the Texas Panhandle can open their hearts to take the time to make one night special for one young lady.In seeing the look in Carrales’ eyes, it is obvious that act of love of support did not go unnoticied.