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Mother Of 2 Makes NFL Saints Cheerleading Squad At 40

Updated: Friday, July 18 2014, 12:37 PM CDT

A 40-year-old mother of two is one of the newest members of the New Orleans saints cheerleading squad, known as the Saintsations.

Kriste Lewis, who is also a dance instructor, competed with women in their 20s and 30s.

"I could not believe it because honestly when I went to the audition, I really had no idea that I would make it. I just wanted to experience it and I wanted to make memories," she said.

Lewis is one of only two NFL cheerleaders in her 40s.

The other dancer is 45-year-old Laura Vikmanis, of the Cincinnati Bengals dance team, the Ben-Gals.

Lewis was the oldest to ever audition for the Saintsations.

"I'm pretty limber for a 40-year-old, when I did that first split I thought I was going to die, I mean it had been 20 years, but that was the one thing, I was like I'm determined, if I don't get anything else, if I don't make this team, I'm going to get my split back," she said.

Age isn't the only thing that sets Lewis apart.

She had to have her doctor's permission to join the squad.

She was diagnosed with a debilitating kidney disease, which will eventually mean the need for a kidney transplant.

"Just watching my mom struggle, the whole transplant process, I just knew right then I wanted to be ready, I wanted to take advantage of the time that I have left, I wanted to be healthy to do that, so that is when I started exercising regularly. I started watching what I ate," Lewis said.

She will take the field with the Saintsations on August 15, at the Saints first exhibition game of the season.

(Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Mother Of 2 Makes NFL Saints Cheerleading Squad At 40


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