Former Indiana titleholder and Indianapolis Colts cheerleader Megan* is two weeks away from a very chilly game-day look: If fans raise $10,000 to support cancer research before November 25, she will shave her head and cheer that way for the remaining games of the season.
CHUCKSTRONG is the Colt's latest initiative to show support to head coach Chuck Pagano who is currently battling leukemia. Colts football team members already shaved their heads in solidarity with their beloved coach, but the team was looking for another way to show support when it asked the cheerleaders for a volunteer who would do the same.
"I said I would do it, but that I wanted to raise a certain amount of money for cancer research [first]," Megan says. "I want to make a bigger impact."
The campaign to raise the money, and for the Colts Mascot to shave Megan's head, officially launched on Monday. Twitter marketing of the campaign launched on Sunday, and in just one day, CHUCKSTRONG raised $1,500.
"I have no doubt we'll raise $10,000. Hopefully we'll raise more," Megan says.
Megan is no stranger to the grief of losing a loved one to cancer. While competing in the Miss Indiana pageant, she became close to interview coaches Jim and Joy Robbins. It four years after Megan competed that Joy lost her battle with cancer, and the repercussions for Megan were harsh.
"She made a huge impact on my life. She helped me with my goals…and believed in me so much. She's probably one of the main reasons that I'm doing this," Megan says.
Thanks to the Miss America Organization, Megan and hundreds of other titleholders and contestants are introduced to the joy of volunteering every year.
"I feel like my interest in community service and helping others started when I won my first local. I got a taste for what it is like to make a difference in someone's life. That really helped shape me for sure," Megan says.
Shaving her head is a small sacrifice in light of what those suffering from cancer must endure, Megan says.
"To cut off my hair is not a big deal at all compared to what those people have to go through," she says.
Support Megan and CHUCKSTRONG by donating to the cause! Click here to learn more!
*Due to Indianapolis Colts regulations, the full name of members of its cheerleading squad may not be released to the public.
Written by: Erika Fifelski, fourpoints staff writer