Local cancer survivors Tina Davis and Noemi Gebhardt received surprise visits from one of the Pink Heals trademark pink fire trucks.
About 3 p.m., the pink firetruck made its first stop at the residence of Tina and Pete Davis. Tina was diagnosed with stage-A breast cancer in March. She said she just completed the seventh treatment in a series of 12 chemotherapy treatments.
Upon completion of those 12 treatments, Davis said she will start radiation therapy.
“With any luck, by Thanksgiving I’ll be on the upward swing and be able to enjoy the holidays without this hanging over my head,” she said.
Firefighters, family members and friends stood in line to greet Davis with hugs, flowers and words of encouragement and support.
Later that day, the pink fire truck made its way to The Freight House Pub & Grill for its second stop. Gebhardt, a six-year cancer survivor of cardiac sarcoma, appeared overcome by emotion as people moved through the line, offering warm words and hugs.
Both Davis and Gebhardt signed the pink fire truck, alongside names and words appreciation from people across the country whose lives have been touched by the Pink Heals tour.
According to the Pink Heals Inc. website, the mission of the non-profit is “to provide communities with a program that supports people in need on a personal level in partnership with public safety and local businesses.” 2017 marks the organizations 10th annual Pink Heals National Tour.
“What we do is we’re a bunch of firemen — retired, active. We travel across the country and volunteer with the Pink Heals organization... to change the world, really,” Pink Heals firefighter Gary Cochran said.
Cochran said the purpose of the tour is to support all “women and their families,” not just limited to a particular cause. Although the fire trucks are pink, the scope of the people they visit is not limited to those with breast cancer.
“The reason the founder, Dave Graybill, ... chose the color pink is because it’s the color of love and that’s what we spread,” Cochran said.
“We give hugs, tell people we love them,” he added. “It doesn’t matter what the illness is.”
Davis stood alongside the fire truck, facing all the people gathered outside her home to support her.
“I am so thankful for all of the people that are in my life,” she said. “They have shown me great strength.”