Teen Cheerleader Who Lost Her Leg Gets an Emotional Surprise from Cheer's Jerry Harris
If there’s anybody who could benefit from a Jerry Harris “mat talk,” it’s Nan McMahan.
The 18-year-old fan of Netflix’s Cheer is recovering from a jet ski accident that took her father's life and required her to undergo a leg amputation last year. A former cheerleader herself, McMahan has been working diligently with the team at the Children's Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) to learn how to walk on her own again with her prosthesis.
Last week, CHOA’s rehabilitation team pulled out all the stops to treat McMahan to their version of Navarro “mat talk” while she was practicing stairs.
For the unacquainted, Cheer follows the coaches and cheerleaders at Navarro College in tiny Corsicana, Texas. The legendary cheerleading team has won more than a dozen national championship titles.
A runway success for Netflix, Cheer also helped popularize "mat talk," which is when cheerleaders loudly encourage their team members while they perform a routine. And when it comes to “mat talk,” Harris— Navarro’s beloved stunter/hype-man and McMahan’s favorite member of the team—is king.
Harris and McMahan have a lot in common outside of “mat talk.”
"My favorite member of Navarro is Jerry. Because he's just so positive and exciting. And like he lost a parent," McMahan in a video released by CHOA. "I lost a parent and like he just still is so positive and just shows love to everyone, and that is just so special to me."
When Harris learned about McMahan’s story and what CHOA did for her, he decided to send the determined teen a “mat talk” message of his own.
"Hey, Nan! I just want to let you know I'm so very proud of you and how much you have accomplished and how much you have overcome to get to where you are," Harris said in a personalized video message. "You are so strong, and you are a fighter by nature and I'm just so, so very proud of you Nan."
"I want to let you know I believe in you, I can't wait to see what the future has for you,” he continued. “I'm just so proud of you and so excited for you. Congratulations, Nan, you are loved by so many people in this world, especially me. I love you so very much and I hope this message means the world to you. I'm rooting for you every step of the way."
We’re not crying, you are.