Colts announce plans for CHUCKSTRONG campaign

Coach Pagano

The Indianapolis Colts are launching a two-pronged attack on cancer.

This Friday (Oct. 5), the team will turn the downtown canal pink to promote breast cancer awareness. It's part of the NFL's "A Crucial Catch" campaign to highlight Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

But since Coach Chuck Pagano's leukemia diagnosis, that form of cancer has taken on special meaning to the Colts organization.

The team says that although they are two different types of cancer, the message is the same: awareness and continued fundraising is needed for all types of cancer with the hope that one day there will be a cure.

Colts Pink

The pinking of the canal will be held at the Ohio Street Basin from 11:30 to 1:00 pm Friday. In addition, the team will honor more than 125 breast cancer survivors at its October 7 game versus the Packers, and will sell limited edition Colts pink t-shirts to raise money for continued research. Fans are encouraged to support the Colts in these efforts by wearing pink at Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers.

The Colts have also launched their CHUCKSTRONG campaign to raise awareness about leukemia.

Learn more about the CHUCKSTRONG campaign

The campaign will include special edition CHUCKSTRONG t-shirts that will be available online through the Colts Pro Shop beginning at 4 p.m. on Friday, October 5. The shirts will be available in both Colts Pro Shop locations (Circle Centre Mall and Lucas Oil Stadium) beginning Saturday, October 6. Proceeds from the shirts will benefit leukemia research at the IU Simon Cancer Center. The t-shirts are $20 each and feature an orange ribbon with CHUCKSTRONG text.

Starting at noon on Tuesday, October 9, limited edition CHUCKSTRONG posters will be available at Central Indiana Huntington Bank branches and at upcoming Colts Blue Friday events. For a list of Central Indiana Huntington Bank branches.

Colts Blue Friday events

The Colts and Indiana Blood Center are also encouraging fans to show their support for Coach Pagano by donating blood at any of the nine donor centers from Oct. 9-13. Cancer patients may receive red blood cells and platelets to boost their cell counts and restore strength after a chemotherapy treatment. In treating APML, Coach Pagano's diagnosis, plasma from volunteer donors may also be transfused.

Throughout the 5 days, Indiana Blood Center will provide cards for donors to write a personal message to Coach Pagano. "In Honor of Coach Pagano" stickers will also be available to wear, photos of which fans can then share on Facebook and Twitter using a special hashtag: #CHUCKSTRONG. CHUCKSTRONG posters will be available to all participants from October 9-13. Fans interested in donating blood can visit Donor Point to schedule an appointment at an Indiana Blood Center donor center in Avon, Carmel, Columbus, Fishers, Downtown Indianapolis, Greenwood, Lafayette, Muncie and Terre Haute.

In addition, the Colts will distribute CHUCKSTRONG wristbands, while supplies last, outside each Lucas Oil Stadium gate at the October 21 game. Wristbands will also be available to the public at the team's Blue Friday event, while supplies last, on Friday, October 19, at Meijer (8375 East 96th St., Indianapolis, IN 46256). A donation of $1 per wristband is suggested to support leukemia research. Fans are asked to wear the bands in honor of Coach Pagano throughout the remainder of the season.

A gameday collection benefiting leukemia research is scheduled for the Colts October 21 game versus the Cleveland Browns. Volunteers will be accepting donations outside each Lucas Oil Stadium gate. All funds raised will benefit leukemia research at the IU Simon Cancer Center.

Fans not attending the October 21 game can donate to the cause by sending a check payable to the Indianapolis Colts Foundation, a Section 501(c)(3) organization, with "CHUCKSTRONG" indicated in the check memo. Checks should be mailed to the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center, Attn: Colts Foundation, PO Box 535000, Indianapolis, IN 46253. All funds will be donated to leukemia research at the IU Simon Cancer Center.

Fans looking to send cards and notes of encouragement to Coach Pagano and his family should send them to: Indianapolis Colts, Attn: Chuck Pagano, PO Box 535000, Indianapolis, IN 46253. Neither flowers nor balloons can be accepted - a donation to the efforts listed above should be made in lieu of flowers or balloons.