Two cheerleaders who won't let injuries stop them

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Suffering injuries that required surgery and the insertion of metal plates and rods hasn't been enough to dissuade Amanda Androwski or Kristen Bolan from cheerleading. Androwski, 18, was injured in 2003 while attempting a stunt that she felt she was not ready to do, she said. She was practicing to try out for the Sachem East Junior Varsity squad. She broke her left arm trying to do a back handspring. Two metal rods had to be inserted in her arm. Her family sued the district, and the suit was settled. "There was a lot of pressure to perform a stunt when you weren't even in high school yet," Androwski, of Holbrook, said, sitting in her lawyer's office at Siben and Siben in Bay Shore recently. Her best friend, Bolan, 19, of Farmingville, was hurt in 2007, also while practicing for a Sachem East squad. She took an elbow to the face, and had to have reconstructive surgery. Today, she has eight metal screws in her face, and two metal plates after her orbit was cracked when another cheerleader hit her in the face while landing from a stunt. Her nose and cheekbone also were broken in what she called the "freak accident" and didn't take any legal action. Both girls still cheer, now for the Suffolk County Community College squad. They also cheer for the NYPD football team. Despite their past injuries, both said they would never quit. Said Bolan: "Why should I let one injury stop me from doing something that I love?" -- JOIE TYRRELL

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