TOWN OF UNION (WBNG) – “It was something like I have never seen before.”
Mia McCarthy, a three time STAC cheerleading champion and national honor society student.
“Nothing crazy, you know, sports, school,” said McCarthy.
Thanks to years of hard work, McCarthy’s high school career was near perfect. That was until a doctors visit in late November.
“Around Thanksgiving I found out there was a tumor in my lung,” said McCarthy.
McCarthy was diagnosed with stage one lung cancer.
“You think you have done everything you can to get your child to the point where they can fulfill their dreams and something unexpected like this happens to her,” said Mia’s father, Todd McCarthy.
“I handled it pretty well, I didn’t think anything of it until it started affecting me but it was there for about a year and everything I was doing, running and everything, we didn’t know,” said Mia.
With McCarthy now sidelined from all cheer activity, the doubt set in that everything she had worked hard for could be taken away blink of an eye.
“When I first found that I was going to have a part of my lung removed I was so scared because I didn’t know if that was going to affect me for school or cheerleading in college because they have running requirements and I was like, oh there is no way,” said Mia.
“I would be lying if I didn’t tell you that driving to and from work I cried everyday,” said Todd.
Doctors attacked McCarthy’s tumor right away and in January after successful surgery, McCarthy was declared cancer free.
“To sit there and watch your child have that strength, I am not worried about anything that comes her way anymore,” said Todd.
McCarthy got right back to work and three weeks later, she was back on the cheer mat.
“My team, a lot of times when I was gone they did it for me so it was really emotional a lot,” said Mia.
Now, seven months after the worst moment of her life, McCarthy signed her national letter of intent to cheer at the division one and 2019 national champion, UNLV.
“I am just so proud of the person she is, the person she has become, and where she is going,” said Todd.
“I almost lost my senior season, I almost lost a lot more than I could have. Everything I do I want to do with 100 percent passion and drive,” said Mia.