Colts players keep coach in mind on Community Tuesday

Matt Overton
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Colts Coach Chuck Pagano has been in the hospital for six days undergoing treatment for leukemia.

One day after learning their coach was diagnosed with leukemia, many of the Colts used their "off" day as they normally would by reaching out the community.

But for one group of rookies, Tuesday was especially important because it involved visiting patients at the IU Simon Cancer Center. Coach Pagano is undergoing chemotherapy a few floors up, but the players had no idea they'd be in this situation when the community day was planned.

 To show his support for his coach and all those battling cancer, rookie long snapper Matt Overton "took it all off." Cancer patient Kane Justus was the first to help Overton look more like him.

The Colts player visited IU Simon Cancer Center Tuesday with fellow rookies Dwayne Allen, Dominque Jones and Kyle Miller.

Overton decided that he wanted to leave the cancer center with less than he came with. It was a nod to all those who are fighting cancer, including his grandmother, great aunt, and his coach.

Overton told Eyewitness News, "I remember my first shave back when I was eight at football. And it was a big day."

Fellow rookie Dwayne Allen also helped shave Overton's head. It was a bonding experience for the "ColtsStrong" nation. The team has grown closer this week when they found out their leader was battling cancer. Coach Pagano is receiving chemotherapy treatment just a few floors above in the IU Simon Cancer Center.

Overton said, "It's an honor being here today. And it also hit close to home this week with Coach Pagano being diagnosed with leukemia. I think that there is so much tremendous support with the city and everybody."

Coach Chuck Pagano is celebrating his 52nd birthday today. The team sent him a big card and the players also all sent him personal text messages.

The players did not get a chance to see Coach Pagano. The Coach began chemotherapy last week, so his immune system is down. He's in a private room where just family are able to visit. But, he does have the NFL network installed in his room now, which was a gift from the cancer center.

You can mail Chuck Pagano a card here:

Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center, P.O. Box 535000, Indianapolis, IN 46253

Colts fans are finding creating ways to show their support for the coach. They've set up a fan page on Facebook, and T-shirts benefiting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society are on sale. On Twitter, fans are showing support by using the #ChuckStrong hashtag.