Earlier this month, we profiled Megan, an Indianapolis Colts cheerleader and occupational therapist. Here’s a cool udpate from Megan!
I have been an Indianapolis Colts Cheerleader for three years and an Occupational Therapist for four. As an Occupational Therapist I use my science degree to help people reach their goals of returning home after being in the hospital due to illness or injury. I teach them how to dress themselves again, or cook a meal, and get in and out of bed among many other necessary life skills. I am able to help these people go back to the normal life they long for.
As a professional cheerleader some people might think I would not be able to make the same positive impact. Typically, all most people see is the dancing, the small outfits, and the big hair. What people don’t realize is that we are also college students or early-career professionals.
On November 11th, I was given the opportunity to make a difference. I saw a Tweet by Blue, the Colts mascot, asking if he raised $10,000 for Leukemia research would a Colts cheerleader be willing to have her head shaved at our November 25th game. Cancer has affected me personally so of course I jumped at the chance! Over the next two weeks Blue and I did television and radio interviews (local and national), tweeted, and asked Americans to give to this cause. What started out as a small campaign to reach Hoosiers in central Indiana and hopefully the entire state quickly became national news. Over 800 men, women and youth in the Indianapolis area shaved their heads in support of the cause as did Colts fans from across the globe. We were amazed at the generosity and outpouring of support from so many. When November 25th rolled around we had raised almost $23,000 for cancer research. Because of the huge amount that was donate a fellow cheerleader, Crystal Anne, decided to join me and on the sidelines between the 3rd and 4th quarters of the game before a packed stadium and a live television audience, Blue shaved our heads (prior to the shaving, our ponytails were cut and donated to Locks of Love). Blue is not an experienced barber so we went back to our locker room where a professional stylist finished the job and then returned to the field completely bald to cheer the Colts onto victory!
This act of losing my hair was my way to make a difference. We were able to raise money for research, bring awareness to cancer, show that beauty is not only about the outward appearance, and lastly prove that pro cheerleaders are much more than what people see on the sidelines. I was so lucky to be in the position to accomplish these goals however EVERYONE in the world has the same opportunity to make a difference! You have the opportunity to visit with the elderly and cure their loneliness, to mentor a child and teach them life skills to be successful, or even give a stranger a smile and end their bad day. I challenge YOU to be a positive force! We all have ability to change the world for the better. How are you going to use your abilities?