Chuck Pagano, Coach of the Indianapolis Colts has been hospitalized on October 1. Only a few hours after being hospitalized, Pagano was told he had leukemia. "His wife Tina had been at his bedside each night. She was the one who pushed him to see the doctor after noticing unusual bruising on his body," Pagano's physician said. Leukemia is a cancer that starts in the stem cells of the bone marrow that make blood cells. Bone marrow is the soft, spongy material that fills the centre of most bones (where blood cells are made). Blood stem cells (immature blood cells) develop into either myeloid stem cells or lymphoid stem cells.
In a news conference, the Colts announced that "the Coach" would not return to full coaching duties this season and will be replaced by Bruce Adrians (Offensive Coordinator). "He will do fine. I know him. He's a fighter. He's survived tough times already in his life. As a cancer survivor myself, I know that these first few days are really hard on you but as he and I talked yesterday, it's just a matter of time," Adrains said. Jis cancer is considered highly treatable, but survival rates and statistics are poor comfort in comparison to the severity of the fight in which he finds himself.
Pagano considered the team his family, so it's not a big surprise that players cried when they heard the news. "I think both with the players and with the coaches, there was silence, there were some tears and heads that dropped down. With the coaches, Bruce Arians had known last night, Chuck called Bruce and he was aware, but the rest of the coaches weren't and of course the players weren't either. So I think it's shock, it's a lot to hear… Again, their reactions were just try and absorb it, it's too much to absorb in three of four minutes, it takes a little time to absorb it and emotionally deal with it, and then move forward… Through it all, I know that Chuck is the type of person that it'll make him stronger and he'll also use it to help others someday as well. So it's been a very tough, tough day.