Colts head coach Pagano has leukemia, to undergo six-month treatment
Indianapolis, IN, United States (4E Sports) – The Indianapolis Colts have announced that head coach Chuck Pagano is battling acute promyelocytic leukemia and scheduled to undergo four to six months of treatment, including chemotherapy.
Colts owner Jim Irsay said Pagano is not expected to return in a regular full-time capacity this season as he needs to undergo continuous treatment to battle APL, which is one of the most curable forms of the disease with a high percentage for remission.
“I am optimistic,” said Irsay, who earlier met with the team and informed them of Pagano’s condition. “I feel with every fiber in my body, and I know Chuck feels the same way, that he can beat this thing.”
“He’s upbeat and he’s ready for the fight,” Irsay added. “He’s tough as nails. He’s in great spirits.”
Irsay named offensive coordinator Bruce Arians interim coach as requested by Pagano. “Today is about Chuckie,” Arians said.
Pagano, who turns 52 on Tuesday, met with Larry Cripe of Indiana University Health Simon Cancer Center and was admitted to the hospital Wednesday night.
The goal is to cure the disease but the process is long and complicated and we’re just starting right now,” Cripe said.
According to the Indiana University Health news release, most adults with this disease achieve remission. A small percentage of about 1,300 adults diagnosed each year die from complications and a few do not respond to initial therapy.
The university added that if Pagano achieves remission, he could continue receiving therapy for as much as two years.
The Colts host Green Bay Sunday and Irsay said he expects the team to win one for Pagano.