Earlier in the year, Maria Cartagena, a five-year veteran of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders came to visit the squad and shared that she had been diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa. RP is characterized as progressive peripheral vision loss and night vision difficulties that can eventually lead to central vision loss.
The cheerleaders were immediately compelled to act. We have shown our support by attending fundraisers, donating to research and support organizations, and most importantly have just been there to show Maria how much she is loved and supported by our organization.
Our efforts to support Maria were most visible Saturday, October 27, at Al Lopez Park, where current and former cheerleaders took part in the Tampa Bay Vision Walk with over 350 other participants. Our team was one of the largest, with over 50 people coming out to show their support for Maria and others affected by vision disabilities. Our team wore matching purple “Marching for the Cure” shirts displaying her initials to show our commitment to Maria and her battle. Together we were able to raise over $8,600. Continue reading