Cheerleader Who Suffered Multiple Concussions Warns Other Athletes

Former competitive cheerleader Kaitlyn Behnke says she suffered five concussions and was forced to quit because of the risk.
5:48 | 10/07/16

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Transcript for Cheerleader Who Suffered Multiple Concussions Warns Other Athletes
The dangerous contact sport she probably don't think of surely that's exactly what it's become. A long way from the Channing and pom pom waving of the past modern cheerleaders are more like competitive gymnasts. A high risk of injuries here's ABC's Paula Ferris. Cheerleading. Cockpit. Require physical. Mental toughness but it's bill falls. That may get even those dangerous sport for female athletes a bad fall can have serious even catastrophic consequences. Just ask Caitlin pinky. It's a government I say and and a good way I think here really shaped. Land today she started competing when she was just too result those share and 2% and fifteen hours only her fifteen years but over the course of fifteen years. She suffered bite concussions all from cheerleading her first passion was when she was thirteen. Not from flying in folly but from dean debates. At puppies on both my arms are around her and I missed the Mac when I fell and I hit my head band the basketball floor. And Allen was scary and they did lose vision for awhile. But she didn't stop cheering and I have waited going to the doctor I tried to pushing myself. Too hard to get back in really fast because I didn't want to miss cheering at the next big game. And despite the increase in awareness about the dangers of concussions. There is still a socket attitude in athletics and the sports culture. I think we need to realize that he cannot rolled the dice we cure brain health and well being. Cheerleading has evolved from. I lean on the sidelines. Through a highly competitive international sport. More challenging throws its content. I wouldn't want to disappoint. People are quiet getting out two years ago we spent time with then fifteen year old Carly Manning a competitive cheerleader in taxes like Kate Ling chi chi who had been training for over half her life. I easily have a sixteen hour days. The Fallon Hartley and your teen as the crowd for the world championships practices are very important especially athletic has flag here trying to earn your spot. Her ability to fly to record breaking height had helped the wildcats consistently. To beat the competition. But prevent dean these complex for teens is a brutal. Before a major competition Carly can train for up to fifteen hours a week. I'm not the full time school. Here but that's not including that he got bought out if you got draft pick. Picking up about your body. In our Russian. But the more challenging the group teamed the higher the risk. But things. And David until they actually read my right ankle I've had various hamstring injury. When the did come up body break. Competitive cheer is a short lived career you can't go pro or win Olympic glory house practice but Carly has become a celebrity of sorts over. 500000. Followers and integrate him. She's now eighteen years old and a sophomore cheerleader at Oklahoma State University. Hundreds of thousands of her followers still watcher gravity defying new. The popularity of the sport is growing. But so are the injuries. In 1980 there were nearly five that was an emergency room visits caused by cheerleading. That number jumped to over 25. Housing in 2007. In fact female cheerleading as second only a football and a number of direct catastrophic events among high school and college sports. There are a lot of myths out there and one of them is that you have to black out or have a loss of consciousness to have a concussion. That's not true we know that name deep percent of concussions occur in people who have not lost consciousness or blacked out. As per Caitlin she was a sophomore on the squat at the University of Texas which she had concussion number four. By that time she was beginning to seat the long term effects. I really started date. Having some memory issues short term memory issues you know. Not be a lesser number Iraq parked my car and not being able to find the words announced talking things like that headaches migraines. I've had them a lot of issues of. Depressing she's now been forced to say goodbye to her lifelong passion because the risk of continue lien was simply too high. I decided that I had to quit when I saw a specialist in Houston. And they we are talking about the fact that. I have a life ahead of me and if I continued share I would I would get mark passions and who knows what side effects of those loans would be. High schools and colleges have protocols in place for reporting head trauma. But Caitlin hopes cheerleading will become recognized as a sports. So that concussions on the squad can be combative as aggressively as football. It's hard but. And I think it I had played it smarter and sat out longer. And let myself truly recover. And and not gotten the repetitive can cut. Who's telling in the position that I. For Nightline I'm Paula fair as it New York.

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

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