First, players on the Indianapolis Colts shaved their heads to show support for Coach Chuck Pagano, who is battling leukemia. Then, fans followed. Now, add cheerleaders to the mix.
The mascot of the NFL team, Blue, pulled cheerleaders Megan M. and Crystal Ann aside after the third quarter of Sunday’s 20-13 victory over the Buffalo Bills to get their heads shaved in front of more than 60,000 fans in Lucas Oil Stadium and on national television.
“It was really overwhelming. People were cheering so loud and I could just feel the pride they had for our team that we were able to do something like this,” Megan M. told Fox News. “I think everyone hopes they can make a difference in their life and hopefully that’s what we did yesterday.”
Megan was chosen for the event after responding to a Twitter challenge from Blue on Nov. 11, in which he asked if one cheerleader could get her head shaved if he could raise $10,000 for leukemia research.
With the help of the CHUCKSTRONG fund that is featured on the team’s website, Blue raised more than $22,000 for the cause.
All of the proceeds will go to benefit leukemia research at the IU Health Simon Cancer Center, according to the site.
Megan M’s pony tail, which was also cut off during the game, will be donated to Locks of Love, a non-profit that provides hair pieces for children under the age of 21 in the US and Canada suffering from hair loss related to their medical condition.
Fellow cheerleader Crystal Ann joined Megan M. to get her head shaved. Both held hands during the event.
Megan M. has received thanks from people on social media, but she says the real encouragement should go to those who are battling cancer.
“I just shaved my head,” she said. “These people are going through the battle for their life and they’re really the ones who deserve all the praise.”
Pagano has lost his hair since being diagnosed with leukemia on Sept. 26 and has not been involved with the team’s day-to-day operations since. His doctor said in early November that his cancer was in complete remission, according to the Associated Press.