Teen Who Survived Pediatric Rhabdomyosarcoma Will Captain Scotland’s Cheer Team

Summer Wroniecki fell in love with dancing at a young age. At just 2.5 years old, she was already taking over the dance floor at Highland Dancing; her teachers were surprised at how quickly she picked up new moves and routines! But when Summer was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of cancer that develops in soft tissue, at three years old, questions arose. Would she ever dance again? 

Her dancing dreams shifted slightly. At four years old, just shortly after grappling with her cancer treatment, Summer began learning different cheerleading routines. It captured her even more than dance did. She loved the precise movements, the teamwork, the rigor. Of course, this didn’t stop her from dancing: tap, modern, ballet. But it gave her a larger scope of awareness in her work.

According to The Independent, Summer, now 14 years old, overcame immense obstacles to work her way up towards performance. After undergoing hip surgery in 2015, she broke her leg that same year. This necessitated another surgery. Yet Summer persevered. She attended training sessions even when she couldn’t compete to reinforce team unity; when she was healthy enough to join in, she gave her all to practice. One of her legs is shorter than the other; Summer compensates by wearing adapted sneakers. 

Now, Summer has been voted as Captain of the Scotland cheerleading team that she is on. As captain, she will lead her team to a competition in Florida. They will be competing in the International Cheer Union hip hop category. Go Summer!

A Brief Explanation of Rhabdomyosarcoma

As described above, rhabdomyosarcoma is a rare soft tissue sarcoma that often develops in the reproductive or urinary systems, arms, legs, neck, and/or head. While it primarily affects children, it can occur in people of all ages. Doctors are unsure of the exact cause of rhabdomyosarcoma. Identified risk factors include genetic conditions like Noonan syndrome and Costello syndrome, or a family history of this cancer. Symptoms vary and may include difficulty urinating, blood in the urine (hematuria), bulging or swollen eyes, and headaches (though this is not an exhaustive list of symptoms). Treatment options include radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery.

Jessica Lynn

Jessica Lynn

Jessica Lynn has an educational background in writing and marketing. She firmly believes in the power of writing in amplifying voices, and looks forward to doing so for the rare disease community.

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