One-Legged Cheerleader Patience Beard Stunts, Tumbles & Inspires

Patience Beard is a University of Arkansas cheerleader who jumps, tumbles and stunts just like many of us. But there is something different about Patience, she does it all with a prosthetic leg. Patience was born with Proximal Focal Femoral Deficiency. This caused doctors to amputate her left leg when she was just one year old due to the diminutive growth of her femur.

When Patience tried out for the University of Arkansas cheer team, she was held to the same standards as every other candidate. She competed hard and was one of only five first year students to make the Varsity squad. The main squad performs for over 70,000 Razorback fans at football games. The coach of the squad, Jean Nail, has been coaching at The University of Arkansas for over 30 years. Her standards are high and Patience met every one of the strict guidelines set by the spirit squad.

Coed stunting and tumbling are mandatory requirements for the squad. Cheer routines come easy to the natural athlete. For Patience, some of the most difficult decisions she has ever had to make are how to decorate her prosthetic leg. In her ninth grade year, Ms. Beard chose to adorn her prosthetic leg in zebra print to show the world her outgoing personality. She has since then created many other sleeves that she uses to decorate her prosthetic leg, but the zebra print is the one that she is seen in most often.

Patience demonstrates pure confidence and the ability to motivate her fellow classmates and her team. Many cheerleaders across the country admire the strength and determination that Patience projects on the sideline. She is a committed athlete and a true role model. Patience shows that she does not let much stand in her way. In fact, she is so determined to succeed that when the team runs laps for warm ups, Patience has never come in last.

This week, Cheer News Network challenges you to try and show the same kind of perseverance when you face obstacles. Take the time to figure a way to work through hardships and overcome complications. Let’s set the bar high and work hard to surpass our goals. Let’s all strive to be role models for our peers just like Patience is a role model for us. And, I challenge all of us to do it with a smile on our face. That’s how Patience does it on the sidelines.

We appreciate your persevering and enthusiastic nature, Patience. We can’t wait to hear about all your successes and we thank you for inspiring us!

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