Addison Decker – Texas Nomination by Cori Corcoran Photography by Carli Layton Photography Issue 49 of Inspiring Teens Magazine
Nomination: Addison Decker inspires all who know her. She has a heart for serving others which shows through her kind and thoughtful personality. During her younger years, Addison experienced cancer in her leg but has overcome it and is a survivor. In fact, she currently high jumps competitively and dances through local charities to raise funds for those in need. Miss Decker enjoys volunteering at local nursing homes and throughout her community. She also loves mentoring young women through sharing her testimony. She consistently puts others first, strives to be her best, and is an all around inspiring young woman.
Photography by Carli Layton Photography
What would you most like to be interviewed about? I would most like to be interviewed about how important it is to "pay it forward." In the third grade, I was diagnosed with malignant melanoma. They performed surgery to remove a portion of my thigh, and I underwent numerous procedures and tests including chemotherapy. During this time, my hometown came together, and people helped raise money for my medical expenses. It inspired me to do the same, and I have organized fundraisers for people who have had cancer and rare medical conditions. I want everyone to know how important it is to help others during their time of need.
Tell us about the fundraisers you've created in general. Two of the fundraisers I’ve created were “beaded bracelet” fundraisers. Every year my hometown puts on an event called “Cruisin’ the Brazos,” and for the last couple of years, I have set up a booth for kids to come and make beaded bracelets. Recently, I organized a dance fundraiser at our local fitness center and used social media to spread the word about the event. I taught a dance to a song called “You’re Worth More Than Gold” and we videoed it, along with positive messages from the girls that attended and sent them to the little girl who has leukemia. I also talked to them about how important it is to be a good friend when the little girl returns to school!
Which was your favorite fundraiser and why? My favorite and most recent fundraiser was for a 3rd grader in my community who is newly diagnosed with leukemia. I organized a dance fundraiser event and raised money to help with the family’s medical expenses. It was my favorite fundraiser because I was able to help a little girl with cancer through my love of dance, who was in the same grade I was in when I was diagnosed with melanoma.
Photography by Carli Layton Photography
Tell us a favorite memory from paying it forward. When I first started my treatments at Cook Children’s Hospital, I stayed at the Ronald McDonald House for a month. They had a playroom that my sister and I would play in together, and also this was the place where volunteers would come in and interact with us. For example, they would bring their therapy dogs to the house for a time of show off and playtime. A couple of years ago during Christmas, I returned to this same playroom and had the honor of reading to the children staying in the house! This is definitely my most favorite memory of paying it forward!
What inspiring things about you does your nomination not cover? I'm a three-time cross country state qualifier, a one-time track regional qualifier, and have played JV/varsity basketball for three years. I've been dancing since I was three years old and was part of a competitive dance team for four years. I'm also co-captain of my varsity cheer team and voted the friendliest girl of my senior class! I am a member of the National Honor Society, Student Council, and take dual credit college classes. My summer job consists of working at our local snow cone stand. I love hanging out with friends, traveling, and spending time at church and with my family.
Tell us about your photo shoot with Carli Layton Photography. What was your favorite part? Carli Layton is such a talented photographer and I love her creativity for “thinking outside of the box.” I told her what my vision was for the picture for this particular shoot, and she jumped in headfirst to make it come to life! Of course, my favorite part was the end product – the photo was exactly what I had imagined in my head.
Photography by her mom
Share your dance career with us. I started taking dance when I was three years old, learning ballet and tap. As I got older, jazz, hip hop, and cheer were added into the mix. In the 7th grade, I was invited to be a part of the competition dance group where I also began to learn lyrical, contemporary, and other dance styles. The part of dance I love the most is the performance! It provides an avenue to express myself through movement and emotion to tell a story without words.
Tell us about your dance instructor who nominated you. My dance instructor is kind, encouraging, beautiful, intelligent, giving, and so incredibly talented. She is the best role model and has always pushed me to be the best version of myself and has expressed to me that I have the power to influence others positively. I have grown into a confident young woman because of her nurturing and encouraging ways and for that I am thankful.
Photography by a dance competition
Tell us a favorite memory from one of your sports. One of my favorite memories from my sports is getting to run two years in a row at the State XC meet with my big sister. Having your sibling standing at the finish line, routing for you is a great feeling!
What is one of your greatest accomplishments from one of them? My greatest accomplishment from my sporting events is qualifying for the State XC meet three years in a row!
What do you love best about being on the Student Council? What I love best about being on the Student Council are the opportunities it provides to do good for others. For example, we collect and deliver toys for children during the holidays, sing to the nursing home residents, and decorate their doors during Christmas time.
Where is your favorite place to travel to and why? My favorite place to travel is to wherever my church camp group is going! Church camp plays a significant role in my faith and allows time for spiritual focus and growth. It’s also a great time to meet new friends and experience unique adventures.
If you were to present a topic to a group of your peers, what would it be and why? I would want to talk to my peers about how important it is to be kind to others. For example, after my leg healed from cancer surgery, I was not invited to a swim birthday party because I was told my leg would be "messed up" and I would not be able to keep up and swim with my friends. My feelings were hurt, and my peers did not show kindness or compassion to me on that day. People encounter stressful situations that others know nothing about every day, and it is important always to be kind.
Look for Addison in issue 49 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!