OT, Kansas City Glory: WNFC
“Knowing that I have support is everything. It is so great to know that there are people and organizations out there that support women in sports. Winning this grant will allow me to play the sport I love safely and without worrying about being able to afford it.”
Keep Cambria in the Game: Her Story
Also a full-time student and employee, Cambria is an offensive tackle for the Kansas City Glory of the Women’s National Football Conference. From an early age, Cambria fell in love with playing sports, but was angered by the lack of opportunity in all sports. “Growing up, Sundays were for two things, church and football. I had always wanted to play football, but was always told it was a boys’ sport.”
After seeing her first representation of women in the game through arena football, Cambria didn’t find her home in football until learning about the Kansas City Glory. Cambria’s favorite career moment so far is when her teammates uplifted her during a grueling Kansas City Glory practice at the beginning of last season.
“I was tired, out of breath, sore and mentally drained. My teammates didn’t scold me or mock me because I couldn’t do some of the drills or run as fast, they encouraged me to keep fighting and even ran alongside me. They told me that we practice, play, win and lose together and that no matter what we will always be there for each other. This was my favorite moment because it showed me that a group of women can get together to play a sport they love, one they have been told all their lives wasn’t a sport for them. Instead of being overly competitive or selfish, they exhibited respect, compassion and selflessness.”
Diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 16, Cambria has been in remission for the past two years, but still deals with the aftermath of treatment and a bone marrow transplant. Despite the physical pain that Cambria endures on the football field, she believes the sacrifice is worth it.
“The pain is a small price to pay for the gratification. As an athlete, you have to be mentally and physically tough. You have to be passionate and have a deep love for the sport you’re playing. Football isn’t just something that I do for fun. It’s something that is an essential part of my identity.”