THE EAGLES CHEERLEADERS WILL WEAR PINK IN SOLIDARITY THIS SUNDAY
AGAINST AN OPPONENT THAT IMPACTS SEVERAL MEMBERS OF THE TEAM
28 PHILADELPHIA EAGLES GAMEDAY MAGAZINE
A SQUAD UNITED
The sheer numbers are staggering.
According to BreastCancer.org, one in
eight women will develop breast cancer
over the course of her lifetime. One in eight.
It should come as no surprise then that
the Eagles Cheerleaders, a squad of 36
young women, have been directly impacted
in one way or another by this disease.
Almost a year ago exactly, Maurisa, one
of the captains on the squad, was going
through her normal morning routine on
what should have been an otherwise
ordinary day. As she was getting dressed,
she happened to feel something that
she never felt before. She was alarmed,
immediately realizing that something
Just 26 years old at the time, and with no
family history whatsoever, she wondered
how this could be possible. Instead of
dismissing it, Maurisa rushed into action
and got a mammogram. There was, indeed,
a tumor in her breast. She had a biopsy
done, and it came back benign. But her
doctor wanted to remove the tumor and
test it, just to be sure. Thankfully, she
received good news.
“If we would have waited, it could’ve
become cancerous and it could have spread
throughout my body,” Maurisa says, “so I
think it’s super crucial to do monthly breast
exams, no matter how old you are, no
matter if it runs in your family or not. It’s
just so important for all women of all ages.
I will definitely be on top of that for the rest
of my life.”
Maurisa returned to the squad just
after Thanksgiving, a little over two weeks
following her surgery, and helped cheer the
Eagles on to the Super Bowl.
“Don’t be scared to go to your doctor
and take the next step to get it removed.
Don’t push it off because you think it will go
away,” Maurisa says.
Dana’s rookie season on the squad was
unforgettable, ending on the turf at U.S.
Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. It took five
tries for Dana to earn a spot with the
Eagles Cheerleaders, but the courage and
perseverance were traits passed down
from her mother, Cheryle, who is a breast
Again, like in Maurisa’s case, there was no
family history. Fortunately, Cheryle was a
nurse in the intensive care unit at Thomas
Jefferson University Hospital and knew the
importance of annual mammograms. That’s
what caught the cancer. Dana was only 17 at
the time and wanted to remain strong not
only her mother but her two younger sisters
“The good thing was, my mom is always
positive. She’s always been a positive person
and I think that kind of contributed to her
success because she was optimistic and
knew she would get through it and we knew
BY CHRIS McPHERSON