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First Lady of Football Farewells: Heather Looks Back On Her 'Unforgettable Experience'

Heather 4[221]

My time as a Washington Redskins Cheerleader has undeniably been the best five years of my life. Fifty-one home games cheered, 16 countries visited, five calendar shoots, four military tours, four pro-conventions, and countless interactions that have shaped me into the woman I am today. All in all, this has been one unforgettable experience.

While these numbers are just a snapshot of what the past five seasons have looked like for me, it is impossible to quantify the depth of my experience as a Washington Redskins Cheerleader. The honor of this position is not always in the glamour, but in the opportunities to touch peoples lives. A particular experience that had a profound impact on my life was surprising a little boy with terminal brain cancer and granting his wish of riding a fire truck. As a pediatric ICU nurse, this meant the absolute world to me. I help children every day, but the pure joy and happiness I was able to bring this sweet boy and his family as a cheerleader, I could not have delivered in any other realm. I treasure numerous other little moments, and now precious memories, which have truly defined the quality of my experience with this amazing organization.

To my fearless leaders -- Stephanie Jojokian and Jamilla Keene -- thank you for believing in me before I ever believed in myself. Thank you for your incredible guidance, unwavering support and selfless love that you show this team daily. Thank you for every opportunity, challenge and lesson. I am forever indebted to both of you and "thank you" will never seem like enough.

To my friends and family, especially my mom and sister, thank you for your endless love and support. To my past roommates, thank you for putting up with my chaos and my perpetually misplaced pantyhose. To my Hopkins fam, thank you for making countless switches with me to allow me to follow my dreams. To my beloved fans turned friends along the way, thank you for sharing this journey with me. All of my experiences would mean nothing without special people in my life to share them with.

To my current and past teammates, thank you for sharing this passion with me. Thank you for showing up every day and dedicating yourself to this team and for challenging me to be a better dancer, woman and leader. It has been such a privilege getting to know each and every one of you while sharing an incredible journey. I find peace in knowing that I will forever be a part of this incredible sisterhood. "Once and Always".

I have learned so much about myself, life, and what it truly means to be a cheerLEADER during this pivotal time for women -- both in this industry and in history. Now it is time to move forward with the biggest smile and the grandest memories knowing that the entire Washington Redskins organization and Redskins Nation will forever hold a special place in my heart.

Hail to the Redskins!



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