Leukemia patient hopes Coach Pagano's diagnosis raises awareness
While Colts Coach Chuck Pagano is receiving exceptional cancer care, not all Hoosiers have the resources of an NFL coach.
The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society told Eyewitness News that since the public found out about Coach Pagano's diagnosis, more Hoosiers have been asking how they can help.
Colts fan Ray Perry is in the same fight as his favorite coach. Perry is fighting his second round of leukemia and a new bout with lung cancer. Perry told Eyewitness News he was very encouraged when Coach Pagano chose to let the public know about his cancer diagnosis: "I love it. He gets the word out. People can help," said Perry.
Perry was at Lucas Oil Stadium to watch Coach Pagano during the pre-season Bengals game. It was a win for the coach and the team. Perry believes the coach's up front battle will hopefully push more Hoosiers to join the fight against cancer.
"People will get awareness and donate money to the cancer societies. And maybe that means there will be more research and maybe we can lick it," said Perry.
The Little Red Door Cancer Agency has been helping low-income cancer patients in central Indiana for 65 years. The agency offers free breast prostheses for women, free screenings for breast, cervical and prostate cancer, and even wigs for women who have lost their hair.
Executive Director Fred Duncan said, "It's interesting to watch the women come in here. They are a little down in the dumps. A little slumped over, but then they spend an hour and a half with a client navigator and leave standing up straighter with a smile."
The Little Red Door Agency also takes cancer patients to and from their treatments. In fact, last year, more than 7,500 trips were made to help cancer patients get to their doctor's appointments. The cost to transport patients is roughly $25 per trip.
If you cannot give money to the Little Red Door Agency, the Indiana Blood Center is always looking for donations. Leukemia patients need up to six units of blood to restore their strength during treatment.