Cleveland Indians Shave Heads to Support Mike Aviles’ Cancer-Stricken Daughter

Mike Aviles, Yan Gomes
The Associated Press
Cleveland, OH

Cleveland Indians players and coaches shaved their heads in a show of support for teammate Mike Aviles’ daughter, who suffers from leukemia and prepares to undergo chemotherapy.

Over the last week nearly every member of the Indians have either shaved their heads or received a buzz cut to show support for Aviles’ 4-year-old daughter, Adriana, diagnosed with the deadly disease earlier this month at Cleveland Clinic.

“It’s a team thing,” second baseman Jason Kipnis told the media on Wednesday. “It started with Mike’s daughter because of what she’s going through. Unfortunately, she’s going to be losing her hair soon from chemotherapy and we all wanted to join in.”

Kipnis went on to explain that it just started with a few members of the team but eventually spread to nearly everyone.

Aviles has missed eight games this month as he tended to his stricken daughter and the team put him on medical leave to help him do so. He is also currently on the restricted list.

Kipnis continued saying that Aviles is one of the most liked players on the team and that since he joined the Indians a few seasons ago many have said they’d do anything for him.

“Mike is one of the best clubhouse guys there is in this entire league,” Kipnis said. “He’s been a great person and a great teammate. I think all the guys have done a good job of stepping up to make him feel welcomed and back at home and that nothing has changed.”

Aviles was grateful for the support he and his daughter have gotten from the team and the city.

“It means a lot for me,” Aviles said. “It shows I’m kind of liked, or my daughter is, anyway. In all honesty, it’s kind of cool when you have your whole team on your side. It goes without saying, everybody in here has families and they know how it is. It’s a tough time, but to know that my team, the coaching staff, everybody, is on my family’s side and my little girl’s side, it helps out a lot and makes me feel good.”

The player joked that after he shaved his head his little daughter didn’t quite understand the point of it all and thought he looked funny.

Aviles, though, also reported that she is beginning to understand why daddy and his teammates shaved their heads and she now thinks it’s “cool.”

The Aviles family is really struggling to deal with Adriana’s diagnosis but the support from the team is a booster.

“It kills me not to be home the entire time,” Aviles said of missing games. “At the same time, I know my wife is a great mom. She’s doing a great job with her, so everything is good at home. The way I see it is, she’s going to fight and I’ll be right there with her. It’s good to know that we have a lot of support on her side.”

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