Originally posted on Helmet2Helmet  |  Last updated 1/5/13

Aside from his players and fellow coaches, Chuck Pagano's road to recovery from leukemia was aided by the local community. Fans and non-fans alike banded together in the name of CHUCKSTRONG, a groundswell campaign that went far beyond the game of football.

By all accounts, the citizens of Indianapolis gave back to the Colts head coach in his time of need.

Now he's compelled to return the favor.

A day before he returns to Baltimore -- where he spent the last four years -- for the Wildcard Weekend tilt against the Ravens, Pagano published a letter in the Indianapolis Star, thanking the people of Indiana for their continued support.

To the people of Indiana:

When I accepted the job as head coach of the Indianapolis Colts last January, it was a dream come true for me and my family. I knew I was coming to an organization with a great owner and a great winning tradition. I knew Indy had great fans, but I might have underestimated just how great. Being new to the community I never expected the outpouring of support I received from Colts fans throughout the state and country. The love and support you showed my family and me gave me a tremendous amount of comfort and peace. Every letter, success story, prayer and act of kindness made this process a whole lot easier. I am also fortunate to have had some of the best doctors and nurses in the country right here in Indiana to care for me.

I am proud to serve as the head coach of your Colts. I take great pride in knowing that the team has persevered this season because you have shown them the same support you have shown my family and me. You have had a huge impact on my recovery and our season and I look forward to accomplishing great things here for a long, long time.

On behalf of the Pagano family, thank you for helping me heal and for showing our country that we do have the best fans in the entire world; fans whose love for their coaches and players extends way beyond the football field.

Sincerely,

Chuck Pagano

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