Colts players spent their day off delivering not just autographs and Colts gear, along with the Colts Cheerleader and mascot “Blue,” they also delivered encouragement and support for patients battling cancer.
“We come out to do community service to meet people and meet the fans and engage with the community it to have genuine connections,” rookie linebacker Zaire Franklin said. “We really care about the people that are supporting our team and we want to make an impact on the Colts community.”
“It was very uplifting and kind of gives you hope and just pushes you even more to just stay motivated and positive and look on for the next day and many more,” Kristen Parker, who is being treated at the IU Health Simon Cancer Center, said.
This visit to the Simon Cancer Center was even more personal for Franklin who recently saw his aunt through her cancer battle.
"She just recently rang the bell a few months ago,” Franklin explained of his aunt completing treatment. “She is going through her post treatment now. Just any success story you can share with somebody i know it can help them and make them feel a little bit better."
Parker is in her second round of treatment for APL Leukemia. Shortly after she was diagnosed, former Colts head coach Chuck Pagano reached out to share his experience.
"We actually FaceTimed in the hospital when I was inpatient and it was very emotional, very similar stories with him having APL as well,” Kristen explained. “He's just been a great mentor and support system.”
The patients have those photos and posters as lasting reminders, and for Parker, she's working to get well enough to be at Lucas Oil Stadium for the Colts next home game.
"Finally being able to go to the game, the Bills game, will be awesome,” Parker added.
“It puts some motivation in us let us know that we definitely have to do this for her,” rookie linebacker Matthew Adams said. “She's coming to the game, moving around trying to get healthy enough to come to the game, that's great."