'Stay determined': A Cy-Ranch HS student's condition doesn't stop her passion for cheerleading

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Wednesday, February 14, 2024
Cy-Ranch HS cheerleader says her condition doesn't stop her passion
Julianna Linton lost her arm due to a condition, but she hasn't let that stop her. ABC13 catches up with her years later for her triumphant journey.

CYPRESS, Texas (KTRK) -- Cy-Ranch High School cheerleader Julianna Linton greets every day with the same outlook.

"I started competitive cheerleading when I was 7 years old because I've always looked up to older cheerleaders as someone I wanted to be like," she said. "And despite the obstacles I faced, I never let my differences hold me back from doing the things I love. And I always stay super determined and have a positive attitude in everything I do."

Linton lost her left arm due to a congenital condition called amniotic band syndrome, but her determination to achieve her goals is stronger than ever.

RELATED: Local cheerleader takes to the field with new bionic arm

"Never let anyone tell me no. And I always say that 'can't' is not in my vocabulary because I believe in all the things I can do, not the few things that I can't do," she said.

Linton doesn't just cheer at Cy-Ranch. She's a "flyer," one of the squad members whose teammates lift to do stunts as she soars high above the ground.

She told ABC13 sports director Greg Bailey that she looks forward to every chance she gets.

"I love getting to fly and stunt and prove to everyone you should never let anyone doubt your abilities. You're able to do anything that you put your mind to," Linton said.

And where does she get inspiration? Former NFL linebacker Shaquem Griffin.

"We both were born with amniotic band syndrome, but we never let that stop us from doing the things we love," she said.

When Griffin played at the University of Central Florida, he invited Linton to watch him play in Houston and cheer alongside the UCF cheer squad.

"I got to cheer on the sidelines. He also invited me to a Seahawks game to watch him play on the field. So seeing him never let his differences stop him really inspired me because we're both missing our left hand."

SEE HERE: NFL Draft pick Shaquem Griffin inspires one-handed Houston cheerleader

Houston-area cheerleader inspried by Shaquem Griffin

Linton now teaches gymnastics in Cypress and has become a role model for many young students.

"It's super cool, and a lot of times I'll show them how to do something, and they'll do a handstand or cartwheel with one hand because they want to be just like me, so it's really cool to be an inspiration to other people," she said.

Linton said she's looking forward to studying architecture at Texas A&M University after she graduates this spring.

She'll be ready to meet college with the same energy and enthusiasm that's defined her life and success.

"Where is it going (to) lead me? I hope I can inspire more people around the world and show them to never give up on your dreams," she said.

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