SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — We have an update on a story we first brought you back in October. That’s when an SDSU cheerleader had part of her right leg amputated due to a rare condition. Since then, people have rallied around her to raise money and get her back on the sidelines cheering.
19-year-old Brianna DeMarais is a sophomore at SDSU and overcoming the life-changing procedure. But Thursday night was encouraging for her as many people headed to the Pizza Ranch on 41st Street in Sioux Falls. 10% of all sales and 100% of all donations are going straight to the DeMarais family.
People dished up their plates with pizza, chicken, mashed potatoes and more for a good cause.
“I think it’s super sweet. Everyone coming out,” DeMarais said.
The fundraiser went from 5:00 to 8:00 Thursday evening. Megan Starr, a long-time family friend of the DeMarais family, was there showing support.
“I’m good friends with Brianna’s sister, and just to be able to be out here and help this cause as they’re fundraising for her, it’s just a great experience and a way for the community be involved,” Starr said.
It’s an easy way for people to eat some food and support DeMarais.
“Grab the kids. Grab your family. Be able to come out here and support them and their family in a way that, for medical bills and everything that has compounded. It’s just a nice relief for the family, and it’s also fun for everybody to come out socialize and have a good time,” Starr said.
DeMarais says the support has helped her in this journey.
“Everyone has done so much for me and I’m so grateful for all of them, and yes, I appreciate everything everyone is doing for me,” she said.
She is starting to get back in the groove of things.
“Right now, I’m at home doing online classes and then I’m waiting to get my prosthetic, and once I get my prosthetic, I want to go right back to college,” she said.
And back cheering on the Jackrabbits again soon.
DeMarais says she is supposed to get her prosthetic leg sometime at the end of December. The family says insurance will cover the cost of a prosthetic leg, but DeMarais will require an athletic prosthetic to eventually resume cheer.
If you would like to help her in this journey, you can find a GoFundMe Page here.