INDIANAPOLIS – Last week, the Indianapolis Colts announced plans to turn pink during the month of October as a part of the NFL’s “A Crucial Catch” campaign to celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month. On Monday, another form of cancer - leukemia - took on a special meaning to the Colts organization. While these types of cancer are different, the message for the Colts this week remains the same – that awareness and continued fundraising is needed for all types of cancer with the hope that one day there will be a cure.
 
The team will continue with its plans to celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness this week, starting with the Pinking of the Canal event this Friday, October 5, from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Ohio Street Basin of the Canal in Downtown Indianapolis. 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. For more information on all the ways the Colts are supporting Breast Cancer Awareness this month, visit www.colts.com/pink.
 
While Breast Cancer Awareness will continue to be a focus of the team this week, the Colts are giving fans an opportunity to show their support and send their well wishes to Coach Pagano and his family, as well as raise funds for leukemia research through a CHUCKSTRONG campaign. Details on all the elements listed below are available at www.colts.com
 
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, visit www.huntington.com.
For a list of upcoming Colts Blue Fridays, visit www.colts.com/bluefriday.
 
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 www.donorpoint.org 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.