For one day, Colts hope song brings hope

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INDIANAPOLIS – Confidence is high among those around the Circle City wearing the blue jerseys of the Colts.

A 9-5 record and likely playoff berth have the franchise back to its winning ways and have brought football back to the forefront of Indianapolis sports.

But the excitement for Kacy Parker has nothing to do with what the Colts have done right on the football field in 2012. Oddly enough, it might have to do with something they were quite average at Tuesday morning.

“She had her first chemo last night so she’s kinda sad and tired,” said Parker of her daughter Ava, who was in the arms of another family member not far from her window side seat in her room at the Riley Hospital For Children.

As the Christmas season approached Ava was diagnosed with cancer, putting her in the hospital through most of the holiday season as she continues treatment.

“We just found out so for us it’s been devastating for our family so close to Christmas,” said Parker-but a bit of a reprieve was about to head her way.

With paper songbooks in hand, eight Colts players headed into the halls of Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health, ready to put a unique twist on their traditional Tuesday outings for charity.

“I will sing with them but I will not claim to be a singer by any means,” said quarterback Andrew Luck, acknowledging that the outing could be a humbling part of his solid rookie season. “We’ll try our best and I’m sure it will work out.”

The group – which included offensive guard Joe Reitz, tackle Anthony Castonzo, tight end Dwayne Allen, long snapper Matt Overton, receiver Nathan Palmer and others – tried to stick with that spirit as well. They sang for a few patients in the hallway before making their way up to the rooms to see the children.

One of their early stops was at Ava’s room, where she was serenaded with a rendition of “Jingle Bells” by the players and a few Colts cheerleaders.

“It’s nice they can go around and brighten their day for just a minute,” said Parker of the team. “We had no idea they were going to be here. It was amazing.”

Reitz said the experience was rewarding for himself, even if the lineman thought his singing skills left something to be desired.

“It’s awesome to come in and see the kids and see their smiles and hopefully the singing doesn’t hurt their ear drums too bad,” said Reitz.

For Ava, however, the music was in perfect tune.

“It wasn’t bad at all really,” said Parker.

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