By Ted Waddell
GRAHAMSVILLE March 11, 2003 The National Neurofibromatosis Foundation (NNF) has a lot to cheer about.
On Saturday, the Tri-Valley Central School Cheerleaders held their Second Annual Tri-Valley Neurofibromatosis Cheer-A-Thon & 3-Point Shoot Out to raise money for the foundations research into the rare disease and offer support for those afflicted and their families.
The neurofibromatoses are a set of genetic disorders which cause tumors to grow along various types of nerves in the human body, and in addition can affect development of non-nervous tissues such as skin and bones.
At the age of four months, little Brianna Worden was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis (NF) Type 1.
Brianna, who just celebrated her sixth birthday, is the daughter of Janna Worden, Tri-Valleys varsity cheerleading coach and Rob Worden, assistant principal at Liberty Middle School.
In the years since Brianna was diagnosed with NF, Janna Worden has become a grassroots advocate for increasing public awareness and support for NF.
The Second Annual Tri-Valley Neurofibromatosis Cheer-A-Thon raised about $2,500.
The event included a Cheer Olympics (toss off, jump off, Liberty hold and full hold), a junior cheerleading squad demonstration, a special presentation by the Cheer Bears, a demonstration by the varsity cheerleaders, basketball 3-point shoot out, and a cheer limbo.
A highlight of the afternoon of cheering was the coaches challenge, in which T-V boys basketball coach Jason Semo put the cheerleaders through some exhausting basketball practice warmups, while Janna Worden had the Bears basketball players seeing what it was like to perform cheerleading routines.
Each cheerleader who raised money for NF by signing up supporters received a special bookmark.
Awards were handed out for the cheerleaders who raised the most money: Cheryl Shelton ($290), Lorin Whitman ($262), Brittany Miller ($140) and Brittany Macedonia ($135).
On Sunday, April 6, the Cheer Time Shooting Starz will hold a cheerleading & dance competition at Sullivan County Community College.
As part of the day-long cheerleading competition, the proceeds of a special cheer olympics will be donated to the National Neurofibromatosis Foundation in the name of Brianna Worden.
For further information about Neurofibromatosis, visit the NNF website at www.nf.org or for local support information, call Janna Worden at 985-0163.