Make-A-Wish helps young girl to be Penn State cheerleader for a day

September 03, 2003

University Park, Pa. -- Though only 12-years-old, Kira Shaw has had 15 surgeries in her young life due to a neuromuscular disorder. But on Saturday (Sept. 6), she leaves all that behind when her fondest wish comes true -- to be a Penn State University cheerleader.

Courtesy of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Western Pennsylvania and Southern West Virginia, Kira will become a member of the squad for the day and cheer for her favorite team as they battle Boston College before more than 107,000 fans in Beaver Stadium at noon. The game will be televised to most of the nation on ABC.

The McClure, Pa. resident will be presented with her official Penn State cheerleading uniform, megaphone and pompoms on Friday after a morning at the beauty salon. Game day will start early for Kira, with a pep rally at the Student Book Store at 8:30 a.m. Saturday. From there it's on to another rally at the Bryce Jordan Center before she leaves for Beaver Stadium at 11:15 a.m.

Kira will be on the field with the cheerleading squad throughout the entire game, while her parents and four brothers and sisters cheer her on from the stands.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength, and joy. It is the largest wish-granting charity in the world, with 76 chapters in the United States and its territories and 27 international affiliates on five continents. With the help of generous donors and more than 25,000 volunteers, the Make-A-Wish Foundation has granted more than 110,000 wishes to children around the world since 1980.The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Western Pennsylvania and Southern West Virginia was founded in 1983 and serves 33 counties in western Pennsylvania and 23 counties in southern West Virginia.

For more information on how to refer a child, volunteer or make a donation call (800) 722-WISH or visit

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 19, 2009