Check out the latest podcast episode Listen
The Y Report

Cheerful Persistence


Paige Moore held up in the air, cheering as a team flyer.
After three years of failed attempts, Paige Moore made the BYU cheer team—and even became captain. Photo courtesy of Paige Moore.

“I loved being upside down,” recalls former BYU cheerleader Paige Moore (BS ’20, MAT ’22) of her childhood in gymnastics. But after a severe shoulder injury at age 9 made competitive gymnastics difficult, she gained a new dream: to cheer at BYU.

In high school Moore cheered and “was always willing to try anything,” says Moore’s mom, Renée Wilhoit Moore (BA ’92), which “put her in line for getting injured pretty easily.” As a flyer she suffered multiple concussions.

Fighting residual brain-injury symptoms, Moore struggled at BYU. She failed to make the cheer team three years in a row and floundered in her classes. She was presented with opportunities to cheer outside of BYU but would have to give up studying neuroscience. She declined. “It was more important to get my degree,” she explains.

Moore started a job at a neurological rehabilitation clinic where her life changed forever, as specialists were able to identify and diagnose her brain injury. It was life changing—she had been “struggling to pass [her classes],” but now her grades were “nearly perfect.”

Symptom-free, Moore tried out for BYU cheer once more in her final undergrad year—and she succeeded. She became team captain and cheered for two more years as a grad student.

Now studying medicine, Moore reflects: “I have been so blessed by those that have decided to study the brain and the body. . . . I want to be able to help someone. [If I can], all of it will have been worth it.”