Indianapolis Colts Coach Chuck Pagano Diagnosed with Leukemia
Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano has been diagnosed with a treatable case of leukemia, the team announced on Monday.
The illness was discovered when Pagano got himself checked out during the Colts’ bye week after experiencing extreme fatigue and strange cases of bruising.
At a special press conference on Monday, Dr. Larry Cripe, Pagano's doctor, expounded on his condition a bit.
"I met Coach Pagano last Wednesday when he was evaluated for bruising, and that evaluation demonstrated changes that were consistent with acute leukemia," he said (via Yahoo! Sports).
"He was hospitalized Wednesday night, and we began treatment at that time. I'm here today because the coach has asked me to be here. He wants to deal with this challenge in a very forthright fashion. Before I explain the treatment and diagnosis in general terms, I would like to emphasize a few things.
"First of all, the goal of the treatment I'm about to describe is to cure the disease. That means that he's returned to a fully functional life --the life that he's worked so hard to earn. And he's looking forward to leading the Colts to some Super Bowls. However, the process is long and complicated, and we're just starting right now. So, for the next several weeks, the process will be day by day. We'll be vigilant and we'll do everything we can to help him reach a full recovery."
Team owner, Jim Irsay, offered a few words of optimism at the same press conference.
"It's been a very difficult week," he said. "Coach was feeling some fatigue over the last few weeks, and noticed some bruising on his body that he first thought could have been from contact on the field, or coaching, or playing with his grandkids. Through talking to his wife, Tina, she said, 'You need to get that checked out, because the bruising appears to be more and more prominent.' We had the coach get fully evaluated, and the conclusion was that he did have leukemia.
“It's obviously a very difficult blow for him and his family. We always talk about 'God, Family, Football' in that order, and certainly this has been difficult for him and for his family. Knowing Chuck, his first concern is always going to be for his children, his grandchildren, and for his wife.
"I feel with every fiber of my body, and I know Chuck feels the same way, that he can beat this thing."
Pagano will be replaced by offensive coordinator Bruce Arians while he undergoes treatment. According to ESPN, he is expected to be out at least six weeks.