Health Team

2-4-6-8: 73-year-old cheerleader appreciates healthy lifestyle

Posted July 28, 2016

— Cheerleaders are symbols of youthful energy, fitness and joy. At the age of 73, Dr. Louise Gooche embraces all of those things.

Gooche, a retired nurse and health education instructor at Durham Technical Community College, was diagnosed with colon cancer 16 years ago.

"I just kept saying, 'Oh please Lord, don't let me go out like this,'" she said.

Fourteen years later, she is cancer free and preaching a healthy lifestyle to other seniors in an effort to lower their risk of disease and improve quality of life.

"Exercising, eating properly, having an emotional balance, seeking the support of others - the camaraderie," Gooche said.

Gooche is the captain of the Durham Divas N' Dudes cheerleading squad. The team performs at various events and competes in local and state Senior Games.

"I learned how to do a split at the ripe old age of 62," she said.

Gooche is also the chairwoman of the North Carolina Senior Games board of directors, and recently received the Humana Game Changer award.

Humama, a Medicaid provider, encourages a healthy lifestyle among seniors. Gooche said she is happy to lead the cheers on that mission.

The North Carolina Senior Games Finals begin August 30 with a variety of competitions throughout the state, including some in the Triangle from September 26 to October 2.


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