The Cleveland Indians have shaved their heads as a show of support for shortstop Mike Aviles' daughter, who is being treated for leukemia.
The Cleveland Indians have shaved their heads as a show of support for Mike Aviles' cancer-stricken daughter.
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According to MLB.com Cleveland Indians writer Jordan Bastian, four-year-old Adrianna Aviles was diagnosed with leukemia on May 7 while the Indians were playing the Kansas City Royals on the road.
Aviles missed the team's next nine games as he was placed on baseball's Family Medical Emergency list. Adrianna, one of three girls in the Aviles family, was initially admitted at the Cleveland Clinic but is now back home to continue her treatment, per Bastian.
Aviles returned to the Indians lineup on May 18, per The Northeast Ohio Media Group's Zach Meisel.
He said it's hard not to be by Adrianna's side, per Meisel:
"It kills me not to be home the entire time. 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. I have to get back and do the things that help provide for the family.
"I've spent a lot of time on FaceTime, talking through there. It's definitely an interesting time. 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."
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis told Bastian going bald was easy for him to do:
"She's going to, unfortunately, be losing her hair soon here to (chemotherapy). So, we all kind of wanted to join in, and it started with a couple and then spread throughout the whole clubhouse."
For his part, Cleveland pitching coach Mickey Callaway told MLB.com he can relate to what Aviles is going through:
"I have two daughters. I have a cousin that recently went through cancer, and her mom went through three bouts with cancer -- a cancer survivor three times. She has one lung. It's difficult for families to go through that, and we wanted Mike to know that we're part of his family."
Indians manager Terry Francona has been pleased with the team's support for its shortstop, per MLB.com:
"It's a bunch of guys that really care about their teammate. A lot of the guys probably don't even know Adriana, but because it's Mikey's daughter, she's important to all of us.
"I think it's a way to take something that's very serious and makes you step back and think, take it and turn it into something where, I guarantee you, when she sees pictures of all these guys, she's going to smile."
Aviles couldn't be more thankful, per Bastian:
"It means a lot for me. It goes without saying, everybody in there 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"
Aviles said his daughter laughed when he shaved off his hair, thinking he looked funny. He remained confident she will understand what the gesture means once she gets older, per MLB.com:
"She thinks it's funny. She doesn't understand it, but she knows that daddy did it. At first, she didn't like the way my head looked. The more she looks at it, she's like, 'I like it. It looks cool.'
"I'm like, 'All of daddy's friends did it, too.' Little by little, she'll understand.
"It's something that, when she gets older, we can show her all of the cool things that everybody is on her side with."
The 34-year-old Aviles has been batting .310 with three home runs and six RBIs through May 27. He has gone 10-of-19 since returning nine days earlier, per ESPN.
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