Just a few years ago, during his first season as the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, Chuck Pagano found himself engaged in a fight for his life as he battled leukemia.
Pagano missed most of the season while battling cancer but, once he was in remission, he returned to the sidelines for the team's regular season finale and Wild Card game. Though Pagano was in remission with his cancer, he didn't stop fighting the disease then, however. In fact, he still continues to fight it by raising support for cancer research, and he continues to use his experiences and his influence to encourage others battling cancer.
Every year, Pagano and the Colts hold a ChuckStrong Tailgate Gala at the Colts' team complex to raise money for cancer research in working with the IU Simon Cancer Center, and so far he has raised over $2.5 million to the ChuckStrong fundraiser campaign. Tonight, Pagano once again hosted the annual fundraiser.
"I've got two jobs," Pagano told CBS4's Nicole Pence on Wednesday. "I`m trying to bring a championship back to this city for these great fans and also help you know as many people as I can."
That has been Pagano's goal throughout his time with the Colts, and he always has placed an emphasis on helping and encouraging people. Through his position (as head coach of the Colts) he has the opportunity to do so, and through his experience (battling leukemia himself) he has the ability to help and encourage in a unique way. Now, he's doing whatever he can to give back and to help others in their fights with cancer - including raising money to support cancer research.
"There`s somebody in these rooms, in these hospital beds that need, they need help," Pagano said. "We need to do our part to make sure that these doctors and these researchers and these scientists have what they need. I want to stamp out cancer. Let`s start right here, right here in Indianapolis."
It's always awesome to see Chuck Pagano giving back to the community and making a positive difference, and it's cool to see him using his experience with cancer to now encourage others going through fights with cancer and trying to raise support for cancer research as well. We often hear about the bad that happens with athletes and people associated with football, but Chuck Pagano is doing a lot of good and giving back.