Cheerleader Hit By Multiple Concussions Warns Other Athletes

Former University of Texas cheerleader Kaitlyn Behnke speaks out about the long-term health consequences she says are a result of the concussions.
3:56 | 10/06/16

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Transcript for Cheerleader Hit By Multiple Concussions Warns Other Athletes
Coming up in just a little bit. First, apparenting all right about concussions. A new study raising concerns. And Paula has the story of one young athlete who is a cheerleader. Reporter: Let's be honest. When you hear sport and concussion, you think football, soccer, maybe even baseball. But cheerleading? And that right there is the problem. Tumbling resulting in actual tumbles. It happens more often than you think. And can have catastrophic consequences. Just ask Caitlin. It's been over a year and I still have headaches. 60%, 70% of the day. Reporter: Over the course of 15 years, she's suffered five concussions. All from cheering. It was cheer. 100 pgt. And 15 hours a week for 15 years. Reporter: She's now been forced to say good-bye to her lifelong passion. If I continued cheer, I would get more concussions. And, who knows what the side effects of those ones would be. Because I was already seeing memory issues. Reporter: Her first concussion was when she was 13 years old. Not from flying or falling. From being the base. The catcher. I missed the mat when I fell. I had the my head on the basketball floor. That was scary. I did lose vision for awhile. Reporter: And by concussion number four as a sophomore on the squad at the university of Texas, she began to see the long-term effects. I started having memory issues. Short-term memory issues. Not being able to remember where I parked my car. Not being able to remember or find words when I was talking. Thinks like that. Reporter: While high schools and colleges have protocols in place for reporting head trauma, Caitlin hopes to raise awareness so other young women will take their cheer injuries seriously. I think if I had played it smarter and sat out longer and let myself truly recover, and not gotten the repetitive concussions, I wouldn't be in the position that I am now. Reporter: You heard it's been over a year since she quit. Still, those headaches persist. She was concerned about the memory loss. About 60% of the time, those headaches persist. The study talked about lingering physical and psychological effects. Those were her big concerns. Thank you, Paula. Jen Ashton here with us. That story a reminder of something you say. Cheerleading is a contact sport. 100%. Anyone at a high school or collegiate game knows that sit. They face increased risk of ton cushion. Not just the flyers but the athletes at the base. Rates among girls and young women have gone up over 100% recently. This new study is about awareness. Showing one injury can have the potential for physical and psychological effects down the road. The good news is most people don't have that. She said she realized now she should have sat out longer. We have learned a lot about recognizing the signs of concussion. We still have a lot to learn about recovery and treatment. And specifically, one study showed that among high school athletes at two weeks, only 40% are recovered. At a month, only 90 pgt are recovered. Let me drive that home. It's like looking at these steaks. On the outside, they look cooked the same. This one, not fully cooked. This one, better cooked. You can't tell on the outside how the body is recovering on the inside. Your daughter San athlete. She plays ice hockey. My eyes are on her every hit, every shift, every game. Athletic coaches and trainers do a great job. They're watching a lot of kids. No one knows your kid better than you. You don't have to only have headache. If you know where you are on a field, that doesn't mean -- Memory loss? Vision loss? When in doubt, sit it out. You can't risk your brain. Coming up, "Deals & steals" is going pink.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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