NFL coach suffering with leukaemia gives team emotional speech after returning from hospital
18:35 GMT, 6 November 2012
American football coach Chuck Pagano gave the Indianapolis Colts an emotional and rousing post-match speech after attending his first game since being diagnosed with leukaemia.
The coach has been receiving chemotherapy treatment since September 26, when he discovered he had the cancer.
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Emotional: Chuck Pagano raises his fist at the end of the speech he gave his side after their victory at the weekend
Get well soon: Pagano was diagnosed with leukaemia (pictured before undergoing chemotherapy)
Support: Fans and players alike are backing Pagano to come back and put up this #chuckstrong banner in support of him
But he turned up at the Lucas Oil Stadium
on November 4 and saw his side beat the Miami Dolphins 23-20 before
heading down to the locker room to deliver his moving team-talk.
Pagano spoke to his men about the
power of positive thinking and visualisation, how they visualised what
they wanted and achieved it in the game – the Colts came back from
He told them about how because he was visualising overcoming the cancer 'it was already beat'.
Pagano talked of seeing two more of
his daughters get married – he has three, Taylor, Tori and Tara who is
married with two children.
Backed to the hilt: The entire Indianapolis Colts team is behind their coach
Come on Chuck! Indianapolis Colts' Reggie Wayne takes off his helmet while a fan holds up a message of support (right)
Pagano was released from the Indiana University Health Simon Cancer Centre two weeks beforehand.
Colts owner, Jim Irsay, announced Pagano would be watching two days before the game took place.
The game was notable itself for a
record breaking performance from quarterback Andrew Luck, in which he
threw for 433 passing yards – beating the previous record of 432 yards
set by Cam Newton.
Pagano's side are now 5-3 and will travel to Jacksonville in Week 10.
PAGANO'S SPEECH IN FULL
'I mentioned before the game that you guys were living in a vision and you weren't living in circumstances. Because you know where they had us in the beginning. Every last one of them.
'But you refused to live in circumstances and you decided consciously, as a team, and as a family, to live in a vision. And that's why you bring things home like you brought home today. That's why you're already champions, and well on your way.
'I got circumstances. You guys understand it. I understand it. It's already beat. It's already beat. My vision that I'm living, see two more daughters getting married, dancing at their weddings, and then hoisting that Lombardi several times and watch that confetti fall on this f****** group right here.
'Several times, we're going to hoist that baby. I'm dancing at two more weddings. And we're hoisting that trophy together man. Congratulations.'
Good news came with doctors saying his leukaemia is in 'remission', but treatment must continue over two years.
His form of the cancer is acute promyelocytic leukaemia which in over 80 per cent of cases can be cured.
When the news broke at the end of September the team were distraught.
Ryan Grigson took over as general
manager but hopes Pagano will be able to return and coach from the press
box later in the season.
Offensive co-ordinator Bruce Arians was nearly in tears when he heard the news.
Arians fought prostate cancer in 2007 and backed his colleague to emerge on top.
'I know him. He's a fighter. He's
survived tough times already in his life,' said Arians. 'As a cancer
survivor myself, I know that these first few days are really hard on you
but as he and I talked yesterday, it's just a matter of time.'
He spoke of a tribute to Pagano which is taking place.
Arians said: 'I asked Mr. Irsay if we
would leave the light on in his office permanently till he comes back
and we are going to do that.'
Watch the rousing speech here: