Since being diagnosed with Leukemia in September of this year, Indianapolis head coach Chuck Pagano has seen vast amounts of support from everyone in the Indy nation; fellow coaches, players, fans and this past weekend the cheerleaders added their support to the mix.
Earlier this month numerous players, including QB Andrew Luck, kicker Adam Vinatieri, and two of Pagano’s former players Pat McAfee and Cory Redding, shaved their heads in support of Pagano. Last week team mascot Blue challenged fans to raise $10,000 and in return a cheerleader would shave her head. The fans responded, overwhelmingly, raising over $22,000 in just over a week.
Photo Credit – Brian Spurlock-US Presswire
This past Sunday, during the second half of their game against the Buffalo Bills, cheerleaders Megan and Crystal had their heads shaved in front of a sold out home crowd. One which included Coach Pagano, who watched the game from the owner’s box with owner Jim Irsay. Crystal battled the disease as a child and Megan has her own personal connections.
“I’ve just had personal experiences with people who have had cancer,” Megan told Daniel Miller of TV station WISH. “I’ve had mentors and family members and volunteer at Riley and met little girls who have lost their hair and beat cancer multiple times. Just seeing struggles they went through and how they could overcome that and still have confidence and fight this fight without their hair – they are really my inspiration for doing this.”
In addition to the money raised by this challenge local Indy Great Clips salons are donating $10 for every fan who comes in and gets their head shaved. So far over 800 fans have accepted the challenge. An amazing $250,000 has already been raised in the name of Pagano.
When stories about cheating, injuries, dirty play and poor officiating have ruled the headlines it’s nice to know that the “good guys” are still out there doing their thing both on and off the field.