Exactly a month since his return to doing what he loves, Chuck Pagano was back in the Colts indoor practice facility on Thursday afternoon reminiscing about a year that can hardly be put into words.
Pagano was joined by his wife, Tina, in speaking to the four local televisions about what the two endured over the past four months.
It was mostly smiles on Thursday, with the couple feeling ‘blessed’ to have their life beginning to feel as close to normal as it can.
“I’m very, very blessed to be sitting here doing what I love to do,” Chuck said. “Life won’t ever be the same but it’s all for the good.”
Both were brought back to Wednesday, Sept. 26th when Dr. Larry Cripe informed Pagano that he was being diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia.
Tina talked about how both her and Chuck were put at ease once Dr. Cripe spelled everything out and used the word ‘curable’ in describing the fight that was ahead.
The hardest part for the couple came when the time arose to inform their three daughters of Chuck’s illness.
Once Chuck called his daughters to let them know what he was dealing with, it was time for the fight to begin and it would not happen without Tina being there every step of the way.
“Tina was amazing,” a teary-eyed head coach said. “She was by my side for 25 days, sleeping in the hospital. She’s the reason I’m here.”
In those 25 days, Chuck and Tina spent a couple of Sunday’s together watching the Colts.
It was something neither was used to and the two shared a few laughs on Thursday afternoon when discussing Tina’s energetic demeanor during the game.
During the Green Bay game on Oct. 7, Chuck said the game wasn’t even a possession in before Tina was on the edge of her seat, raising her voice in support, a scene that her husband was going to have to deal with for the next few weeks.
“I said to her, ‘Are you kidding me? This is how it’s going to be for three hours,” Chuck said with a smile while looking at his wife.
The two wanted to thank all the support they received from the Colts organization and a community that welcomed them in from day one.
“For them to embrace our family…without them, I wouldn’t be sitting here now,” Chuck said.
“Now, it’s back to the goal of winning championships for this city.”
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