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Pete Carroll on Paul Allen: He’s a hero of the Northwest

Center, Seattle Seahawks owner Paul Allen holds his fingers up as a "1" and a "2" to symbolize the "12th Man" support of fans after the team beat the Green Bay Packers in the NFL football NFC Championship game in Seattle in 2015, as Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, far right, looks on. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, file)

With the news this week that Seahawks owner and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma for the second time, Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll took some time during his regular Blue Friday interview with KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson to praise the Seattle icon.

“I think he’s a real hero of the Northwest … he’s from this area and he wants to do everything he can to contribute to it,” Carroll said.

Allen previously beat non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma nearly a decade ago. He announced via Twitter on Monday that the cancer had returned.

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“I learned recently that the non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that I was treated for in 2009 has returned. My team of doctors has begun treatment of the disease and I plan on fighting this aggressively,” Allen said in a statement on his website. “A lot has happened in medicine since I overcame this disease in 2009. My doctors are optimistic that I will see good results from the latest therapies, as am I.”

Dori credits Allen with saving the Seahawks back in the 1990s, when the team had been moved to California by former owner Ken Behring.

“How bizarre is that … the thought that if he hadn’t stepped in, that Seattle would not have the Seahawks,” Dori said. “And that’s almost impossible to even imagine today.”

Carroll agreed that the Seahawks and the 12th Man have Paul Allen to thank for the team’s current home. However, for Carroll, Allen’s most significant feats are his contributions to charity and to knowledge.

“Way more important [are] all the other things he’s done, too, representing our area all around the world,” Carroll said, pointing out Allen’s philanthropic work with the 2014 West Africa Ebola epidemic; his contributions to history by locating ships such as the USS Lexington that were sunk in historic battles; and his construction of the world’s largest airplane.

The coach very much enjoys working with the owner of his team, and wishes Allen all the best.

“It’s been a great relationship, and it’s been so much fun, and all the winning to go along with it, and the fun and the games and all that kind of stuff,” Carroll said. “It’s a great situation here.”

Carroll is hopeful that Paul Allen will once again fight the disease and return to full health.

“He’s a great competitor — he hasn’t taken this with any other thought than he’s going to kick butt, he’s going to win, he’s going to make this thing turn again,” Carroll said. “And he has had success in the past, so he’s counting on it again, and we’re all pulling for him for sure.”

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