Indianapolis Colts cheerleader Crystal can personally relate to Colts head coach Chuck Pagano’s battle with leukemia; as a child she fought and eventually beat the disease. So, when a fellow cheerleader, Megan, said she was going to shave her head to show support for Coach Pagano and raise money to help find a cure for cancer, Crystal decided to join her.
It was a gesture that caught the hearts and attention of the entire nation. Video clips of Crystal and Megan donning their shaved heads while cheering-on the Indianapolis Colts has been highlighted numerous times on multiple news and sports shows.
“We were both surprised how big this got. We weren’t expecting so much media attention,” said Crystal. “Megan and I helped raise over $22,000 for cancer research in honor of Coach Pagano by shaving our heads. Her (Megan’s) support, my squad and the community has made the meaning of this experience so unforgettable.”
Crystal has also received an overwhelming response via Twitter, Facebook, email and in person.
“I’ve heard stories that have touched my heart and I appreciate knowing that this has meant so much to so many people,” said Crystal. “From my personal experience (with leukemia), this has all meant so much to me.”
You might think that to a cheerleader the idea of shaving their head would be terrifying, but Crystal’s life has given her a different outlook.
“I have been bald before so I wasn’t scared of not having hair,” said Crystal. “It’s actually faster for me to get ready now and my head (feels like it) has more senses. For example, I can feel the cold more, especially in this weather, and my head appreciates my pillow more (laughs)!”
In addition to being a Colt’s cheerleader, Crystal is a personal trainer at LA Fitness. When she went to work after shaving her head on national television the reaction from her clients moved her in a way that she never expected.
“The biggest impact on me was from a couple that I train at LA Fitness,” said Crystal. “They gave me a small jewelry box and inside of it was a breast cancer pin. The pin was from his mother who battled breast cancer for 25 years and passed away. He said that she would have appreciated what we’ve done and that she would have wanted to give it to me.”
Crystal and Megan both donated their hair to Locks of Love, an organization that makes natural hair wigs for those who are battling cancer and as a result have lost their hair.
For more information about Crystal’s efforts to help find a cure for cancer you can follow her via Twitter at @Crystal_Anne_B.
We will be featuring Crystal and the amazing work she is doing with one of her clients, so be sure to follow us by adding us to your RSS feed or join our community to have the latest articles sent right to your email.