EDMOND — Morgan Owens couldn't stop looking around and smiling as she sat this week in the Nigh Center at the University of Central Oklahoma.
“I'm excited for my future,” one of UCO's newest cheerleaders said as she talked about what it would be like to be a freshman on the Edmond campus and cheering for the Bronchos. “I am just super excited.”
Owens, 18, has been cheering since she was 3. But five years ago, she thought she would never cheer again.
On her 14th birthday, March 10, 2008, as Owens was wheeled into surgery, she feared losing her leg was a real possibility. Instead, a tumor and 9 inches of bone were removed and replaced with a donor bone, 16 screws and a metal plate. She was in the hospital for seven days and had to have four blood transfusions, but there was no cancer.
She couldn't walk for two months.
“Cheering was my life,” Owens said. “I thought I had nothing to looking forward to. I was depressed and really mad.”
The pain was so bad that Owens would beat her leg with her fist as hard as she could just to get through the sleepless nights. She said she would cry when she couldn't stand the pain any longer.