An open letter to the Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders Organization:
Saturday, November 5 began early in my house. We had to be up and out of the house by 7:15 A.M. on a Saturday to make it over the bridge for the start of the Philadelphia Eagles Junior Cheerleading Session. If you knew the month we had leading up to this date and the week we endured that brought us out of the house before we typically leave on a weekday, you can understand why a part of me wished I hit the snooze button.
Then we arrived at Lincoln Financial Field for the A.M. session of Eagles Junior Cheerleading. We were greeted by smiling faces at every turn and walked up the escalator to the beaming faces and beauty that embodies the Eagles Cheerleaders. My spirits have been a bit broken and the thought of being surrounded by such beauty on a day where I wanted to hide under the covers was not ideal.
However, the cheerleaders are not just beautiful women on the outside. Those gorgeous gals talked with every little girl that arrived and made her feel confident and special. Their beauty runs far beyond face value.
My little girl especially needed to be surrounded by friendship, happiness, and a positive attitude this week because her spirits have been very fragile. She recently had a hospital stay that scared friends and family alike. This time, unlike other scares we have faced with her rare illness, she is keenly aware of her body, the awkward biopsy scar that still looks fresh on her calf, and the belly and cheeks that have grown puffy through steroid doses. It’s much more difficult to face these challenges and remain strong because she is asking me questions that I am struggling to answer.
This morning, no one knew of these struggles. Well, that is not entirely true. Four of these lovely women joined a fundraising event held at Pat’s King of Steaks in September. In fact, it was at that meeting where Kelsey was informed about the Junior cheer session. I am grateful for Amanda, the talented and stunning Eagles cheerleader, who told us about today’s events and helped us become a part of it.
When you live in a world world that can oftentimes seem selfish and self-centered, it is truly refreshing to watch women collaborate, encourage, and teach young girls. The girls learned a cheer and a dance today. That was the objective. However, the cheerleaders taught the girls so much more than a routine. They modeled poise, grace, and confidence along with every step.
While the Eagles Cheerleaders are gorgeous individuals with pristine physical appearances, they were encouraging young women to smile and have fun with the bodies they arrived in. There were girls of all shapes and sizes present that varied in age and experience level. The cheerleaders made each one smile and sparkle from within.
Personally, it has been about a month since I have seen that spark from within my daughter. I shed a few tears on my keys as I attempt to put into words just how much having your organization renew Kelsey’s energy and her smile means to me. I’m sure it is a combination of her body accepting new medication and as a result feeling a bit more like herself today. But my family has felt a bit broken as we have watched a child that typically shines who has been fading instead.
From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank your organization for helping young girls feel confident and excited to work as a team, smile, and simply have fun. I think we need more role models like you in our world who are promoting the right values and helping kids feel confident in who they are. I know that my daughter needed this lift today in more ways than one. Truth be told, so did I. Thank you.
A grateful mother