The Mirror 4: Cheerleaders Cut Hair for Charity

Both Megan and Crystal Anne cut their hair to support the Indiana Colts' head coach, Chuck Pagano and bring awarness to cancer research.

Both Megan and Crystal Anne cut their hair to support the Indiana Colts’ head coach, Chuck Pagano and bring awarness to cancer research.

A bird went tweet. Or more accurately a bird tweeted. That bird would be Blue, the Indiana Colts’ mascot, who challenged the team’s cheerleaders to shave their heads if—and only if—he could raise 10,000 dollars for cancer research. This came after some of the Colts football players shaved their heads in support of coach Chuck Pagano, who is undergoing chemotherapy during his battle with leukemia.Megan M. (whose last name was not released to the press) was the only cheerleader to agree to this challenge and shaved her head in front of 60,000 live fans and millions more watching at home. In addition to the challenge, the Colts also offered free buzz cuts and made a ten-dollar donation for every fan who wanted to support the cause and honor the coach. They partnered with Great Clips in order to achieve that.

“I’ve had family members and mentors [with cancer] and I volunteer at a local children’s hospital and met little girls who lost their hair and saw the bravery that they possess and it was just something that I wanted to do to help reach others,” Megan said on “Good Morning America.”

In just a few weeks, fans raised more then $22,000 through the CHUCKSTRONG fund, which is named for the coach. Megan shaved her head at the start of the fourth quarter. While she was the only cheerleader who publically rose to the challenge, Crystal Ann, her fellow cheerleader, joined her. Both women’s hair will be donated to Locks of Love, an organization that provides wigs for children who have lost their hair to cancer. According to the Colts’ website, all the money donated will go to the IU Health Simon Cancer Center.

While Pagano has been absent from his coaching position due to his treatment, he was at the game on Saturday, November 25, and watched his team beat Buffalo 20-13. On GMA, Megan also discussed Pagano, saying, “He was nice enough to send me a text while he was going through this himself, thanking me for doing this. He’s just a really wonderful man.”

This inspiring story went viral as millions of fans took Blue’s challenge. Football Sunday is a tradition in many American households, and the fact that prominent teams are taking a stand to raise money for cancer research is truly inspiring. Many believe that there is no pride in being on a professional football team—after all, many players eagerly switch teams for a better salary—but it is great to see a team truly coming together to support their coach.

As the playoffs approach and football scores and players become an even hotter topic, let’s hope that more teams choose to bring awareness to causes like this. Additionally, while many consider cheerleading a profession entirely based on looks, Megan proved that true beauty is what is on the inside, not the outside. She wasn’t concerned about what others would say; instead she chose to support a great cause and show the American public that it is more important to take a tall stand than worry about whether you are as tall and thin as Geisel Bunhchen.