Cheerleader Equipped With Pom Poms And Artificial Leg Amps Up Fans

Patience Beard flies through the air with her fellow cheerleaders, and she does it with an artificial leg. INSIDE EDITION caught up with the inspirational co-ed.

A cheerleader does backflips to amp up the fans at a football game. But you might do a double take because this cheerleader has only one leg.

Nineteen-year-old Patience Beard is the first and only one-legged college cheerleader in the country. She's actually nicknamed "the girl with the zebra leg" because she wears an artificial limb with black  stripes.

"People are like, 'Oh my gosh!' I think they just see the zebra leg and say, 'Oh, you're the cheerleader.'"

Patience was born with one leg shorter than the other. Her parents chose to amputate her limb when she was eight months old to save her from a series of painful and risky surgeries.

Today, she's the most popular cheerleader for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks.

In her apartment, Patience showed INSIDE EDITION how she gets ready for game day. She first puts on a protective plastic covering over her amputated limb, and then she slides on her zebra leg.

"It stays on pretty tight," she explained.

After some last minute makeup that includes a hog applique on her cheek, Patience and her pom poms are off to the stadium.

As the squad entered the stadium on their bus, Patience eyed a cute little girl in the crowd. She also has just one leg. In fact, she and her dad drove nearly 1,000 miles from Ohio just so she could meet Patience.

The little girl's father said, "We wanted to bring her here so she could be inspired by Patience and know that she's normal."

Patience led the cheers as the Hogs made a touchdown. Her cheer partner, Zane Adams, admits he is extra careful when they peform stunts.
"I do have to be careful with her leg. She could get hurt. I could get hurt. There are a number of things that could happen if something were to go wrong," said Adams.
"I really am living out a dream," Patience said.