INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 20, 2016) – Chuck Pagano is a survivor and a football coach. The Indianapolis Colts' coach is still tackling cancer and wants you to join the fight!
"Now I`m blessed to be in remission. I've got a platform where again our NFA. It's the nobody fights alone theme," explained Pagano.
Chuck Pagano sat down with CBS4 This Morning's Nicole Pence for a one-on-one conversation about his ChuckStrong initiative.
"I've got two jobs. 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," Pagano told Pence.
Pagano was diagnosed with Leukemia during his first season with the Indianapolis Colts.
Pagano noticed bruises on his body. A few days later, Pagano was fighting cancer.
"I was at a practice. I took a team photo, got in the car with my wife came down to Simon. Next thing I know I was laid out on a gurney getting a PIC line put in my arm. A couple minutes later, they were dumping chemo into me," said Pagano, who shared his cancer journey with fans.
Hoosiers supported his ChuckStrong fight, something Pagano still gets emotional talking about today.
"I have such a great love and passion for these people here and what they did. It just feels like to me that this is home. There is no better people that I've been around," Pagano said wiping away tears.
After Pagano found out he was in remission, he started the #ChuckStrong initiative.
During the off-season, he works with Dr. Pat Loehrer and the team at the IU Simon Cancer Center to raise money for research.
"He attacks cancer like he attacks football. He is a passionate driven individual who cares more about other people than he does himself," said Loehrer.
Every April, Pagano hosts the ChuckStrong Tailgate Gala. Colts players like quarterback Andrew Luck and kicker Adam Vinatieri also donate to the football-themed fundraiser.
So far, people have donated more than $2.5 million to the coach's ChuckStrong cause.
"A lot of heart, a lot of blood, sweat and tears you know go into this thing," said Pagano.
While the work in the Dr. John Turchi research laboratory at the IU Simon Cancer Center cannot move as fast as the action on the football field, Pagano is fighting cancer with an acute sense of urgency.
"There`s somebody in these rooms, in these hospital beds that need, they need help. 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," he said.
Pagano's goal is to raise more than $10 million through the ChuckStrong Tailgate Gala. The event is Thursday, April 21. Click here to donate to the ChuckStrong initiative.
Loehrer and the IU Simon Cancer Center team honored Pagano with a football-themed lab coat for his fundraising efforts and dedication to cancer research.