Chuckstrong support from fans - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Chuckstrong support from fans

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INDIANAPOLIS -

Colts fans focused on the sidelines as Coach Pagano returned to the field for the first time since September.

One south side family watching the game from home who knows firsthand what Chuckstrong really means.

Like most gamedays, Joe Kieffer and his family are gearing up to cheer the on the Colts but this Sunday is an emotional one.

"It brought tears to my eyes. Definitely touching," said Joe.

The highlight of the game for this family came before kickoff something they didn't expect to see so soon.

"He looks great," said Jenny Kieffer.

Joe told Eyewitness News, "When they said he was sick and maybe come back during the playoffs I didn't really believe it but now he is so yeah it definitely surprised me."

For the Kieffer family seeing the coach back on the sidelines is like seeing a family member get well.

"It's a huge accomplishment for anybody fighting any type of cancer," said Kevin.

"We definitely share something special together. not much people knows what he goes through or what I went through and us two know," says Joe.

The 19-year-old was diagnosed with leukemia last summer. He says support from friends and family is vital and believes the Chuckstrong movement is directly linked to Coach Paganos swift return to the field.

Joe says, "He's a tough guy. Shows how tough he is by getting back out and being able to do it."

Joe says coach Pagano has inspired him to stay strong, and continues to inspire others still deep in the fight.

"Seeing Chuck back soon gives them a little light. Gives them a boost of confidence to get feeling better a lot sooner then they had hoped," explained Joe.

As for Joe, he is now in remission and is feeling stronger every day. His advice for the coach?, "I'd just live it up right now and just tell him to keep going."

Joe is finishing up his senior year and plans to attend the University of Indianapolis in the fall.

Earlier this season he had the chance to meet several Colts players. He hopes someday to meet Coach Pagano as well.

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