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Beyond the Sidelines: Heather

170118_heather_615_255.jpg recently caught up with third-year veteran cheerleader Heather, who, outside of cheering, is a registered nurse at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

1.   What is your career outside of WRC?

When I'm not shaking my poms at FedExField, I work full-time as a registered nurse in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Our patients range from newborns to 18 years of age, who battle critical illnesses such as acute respiratory failure, complex congenital and acquired cardiac diseases, renal and hepatic failure, shock, cardiac arrest, brain resuscitation, burn resuscitation and oncologic emergencies. We utilize the most advanced critical care medical technologies including extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), mechanical ventilation, artificial heart support and dialysis to care for critically ill and injured children. My career is at times very challenging, however, becoming a PICU nurse is my greatest feat to date.

2.   How do you prioritize your time among all that you have going on? (job, WRC, free time, family/friends, etc.)

Over the years, cheering, multi-tasking and planning ahead just became second nature for me. I actually use a paper planner to help me stay organized throughout the season and I absolutely love it!

3.   If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

If I could travel anywhere in the world, I would go somewhere warm with beautiful beaches, good food and great views. Santorini, Greece is on the top of my list.

4.   Who's your personal hero?

My personal hero happens to be a woman I've had the privilege of knowing the past 26 years and my best friend - my mom. She is truly the most patient, selfless, perseverant human I've ever met. Growing up in a single parent home presented many challenges along the way, but she never missed a beat. Working two or three jobs at a time, my mom did whatever it took to keep the smiles on our faces and the magic in our lives. I am so incredibly blessed to call this amazing woman my mom.

5.   What are some of your favorite outside activities?

I love any activity that gets my body moving and forces me to live in the present! When I have a little free time, you may find me running, surfing, biking, snowboarding, sky diving, cliff jumping, boating or playing sports outside. I'm a bit of an adrenaline junkie at heart. I'd try anything at least once!

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