A South Carolina mother, Demetra Bush, fought hard for her high school freshman daughter to be on the cheerleading team. Her daughter Lauren Bush was diagnosed with Type 3 Osteogenesis imperfecta at birth. Lauren’s rare disease led her to be in a wheelchair. At the time, Demetra helped her daughter with applying for the cheer team at Blythewood High School and later learned she made it onto the squad.

“The tryout packets had come out, and I was always against cheering, and I was like, no, I don’t wanna cheer. I wanna dance, but my friend was on the cheer team in seventh grade, and she was like you should try out, and it’ll be fun. So I tried out, but then when tryouts started, I got more into it, and I made the team, so I was like, ‘oh ok,'” Lauren told WISTV.


However, Demetra said that if her Facebook post had not gone viral, Lauren might not have been able to compete in her first year. One month before the team’s first competition, the head cheer coach informed her that Lauren would not compete.

Unsatisfied and confused by the decision, Demetra scheduled a meeting with the coaches and high school administration. She said the coaches felt Lauren being in a wheelchair was a safety risk in competitions.

“I was so offended, and I literally told them, do you hear what you all just told me,” Demetra said.

Demetra did what she felt was best and wrote a lengthy post on Facebook about the incident, according to WISTV. The post gained massive attention and went viral, which led the school to overturn the coach’s decision. Lauren was able to compete thanks to the supporters of her mother’s post. Lauren hopes this story inspires families to chase after opportunities and not listen to “no’s.”

“This whole situation is bigger than just Lauren. I’ve explained that to Lauren before I sent out any information before I sent out any post to get the public’s backing because I knew that this is bigger than just us. It’s time for a change, and we’re in the 21st century,” Demetra said.

Demetra emphasized the importance of diversity, inclusion, and equality, which created public support for Lauren.

“Just don’t listen to people and do what you want to do. If you want to do it, then do it … go for it. Because at the end of the day, they’re not you, and you’re like your own person. It doesn’t matter what people say for real. Just do what you want to do,” she said.

Lauren’s aunt, Kassandra Wise, also posted about the discriminatory details of her niece’s story on TikTok. Wise received over 14k views, with supportive viewers writing in the comments lifting Lauren.

“Please read and share!! Support my niece and all other children that are being discriminated against because of their disabilities. Lauren does not let anything stop her … she never has!! If you can’t read one of the photos … basically my sister got a call two days before the cheer competition saying my niece cannot participate because of her disability,” Wise wrote in her TikTok caption.

Wise’s second TikTok post featured her niece competing alongside her team at their first match. Lauren was all smiles in the video, assisting her teammates with lifts and base positions. The team looked well put together and united during their competition.

“My niece went out there and ATE!!! You can’t, and you will NEVER count her out,” Wise said in the caption.

@kassandrawise916 My niece went out there and ATE!!! You can’t and you will NEVER count her out!! #fyp ♬ original sound — kassandrawise916

The competition ended with Blythewood Bengals finishing first in the 5-A division. d:

“Students with disabilities are not prohibited from participation as long as it doesn’t pose a safety risk to the individual or others,” South Carolina High School League officials said.

Congrats to Lauren on her first cheerleading match.