SUMNER COUNTY, Tenn. (WZTV) — The life of a talented, young cheerleader,15-year-old Aleya Brooks was taken after Friday’s powerful winds.
Aleya's loved ones and friends lining the hall of TriStar Skyline hospital on Sunday for the Walk of Honor, an emotional tribute to such a strong and beloved young teen who is now donating her organs to save the lives of others.
Her family is opening up about their daughter's legacy, after a falling tree claimed her life.
Aleya's loved ones and friends lining the hospital tonight for the walk of honor, an emotional tribute to such a strong and beloved young teen who is now donating her organs to save the lives of others.
“There was never a person that she met that she did not care deeply for,” Jason Brooks said, Aleya’s father.”
Aleya's parents, Darla and Jason, adopted their daughter from china when she was just nine months old.
They said Aleya had a natural instinct for compassion, kindness and healing others... Especially those with brain injuries.
“She wanted to heal brain trauma, brain injuries, Alzheimer’s, etc.,” Jason Brooks said.
On Friday, the family was cleaning up debris in their driveway, when a tree crashed down on Aleya. She would not survive the injury.
Her father said one of the most difficult parts of this, is that Aleya wanted to be a neuro psychologist.
“She wanted to heal brain trauma, brain injuries, Alzheimer's, et cetera. So, it's really hard that our daughter, who was going to heal so many actually died of a traumatic brain injury. It's tough. As her parents, it's been the greatest joy of our lives, to be a part of her journey,” the father said.
The family said they knew without a doubt their daughter would want to save other lives by donating her organs.
“We said I think she would want to do it because she lived it. I had my sister's kidney for almost 35 years. So, she knows how important organ donation is. And I absolutely know that she would want to do anything to save more lives,” the mother said.
Aleya's parents, shared stories of Aleya's memory. Her talent and resilience in the sport she loved, competitive cheerleading.
“You know, she wrote this essay and about her torn ACL and she said, mom, ‘I want another story. That was two years ago.’ And I said, “Just pray about it. God will give you another story,” the mother said.
The mother, and father both took a moment.
“I don't like this story. But it's her story,” her mother said.
Aleya was a decorated, competitive cheerleader at Liberty Creek High School in Sumner County.
Aleya's teammates called her their encouraged and their prayer warrior.
Aleya won two national championships and her teammates, wore their white competition jackets to honor her accomplishments and now her gift of life to others as she donates her organs.
FOX 17 News spoke with Aleya's coach who described her as one of the strongest members on the squad; a leader with a soft-spoken confidence.
She said Aleya would be front and center during games and competitions, helping guide her team.
"She was always upfront. We always put Aleya in that point position that very first position, because she would always demand attention. Unbelievable, hyper extended jumps. The person that you want the judges to kind of see first when you display your team,” Jodi Curtis said, Aleya’s cheer coach.
Aleya wrote in a recent school essay about her sport, "I want to display the grittiness for the next generation of cheerleaders.”
Her team with the word 'grit' written across their hands for Saturday’s tribute.
Aleya’s parents want to encourage others to become organ donors by her own example: to live life with intention and to love others completely, right where they are.
Aleya's family has a GoFundMe and any donation will go to Aleya's church, Long Hollow, along with the care and research of neurological and brain disorders.