Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Pink Heals Tour Raises Awareness to Stomp Out Cancer

As most of you know, I love shoes.  Even my six-year-old son asks if I love him more than there are stars in the sky and shoes in my closet, but nothing can surpass my love for Shane -- not even my C’est Moi Louboutins.  Although, this weekend I stumbled upon a pair of pink heals that give all the shoes in my closet a run for their money.
On Saturday, I dropped Jason and Shane off at the baseball field and was driving around downtown Hermosa Beach looking for a place to park.  I drove by the Hermosa Fire House and saw three huge pink fire trucks and one that was towing a gigantic steel ribbon.  As I drove by, I noticed -- what seemed to be firemen -- dressed in pink fire gear waving at me; so I waived back.
The next day, we were walking down Pier Avenue on our way to my Mother’s Day breakfast and we actually stopped to check out these dazzling pink fire trucks. 
As we approached, Shane asked what was on the trucks.  On closer inspection, we could see that there were thousands of hand-written messages decorating these trucks. 
It was then that we met Dave Graybill, a fire fighter from Glendale, Arizona, who started a country-wide tour with these pink fire trucks to raise awareness for cancer.  He told us that through his organization – The Pink Heals Tour – they have garnered more than 40,000 signatures on the trucks from women and children (and some men) who have survived cancer.
On his Pink Heals brochure, Graybill states, “We drive hundreds of miles at a time, carrying the signatures of very special people, mostly women, some men and a few children.  We are drivers with a special message, a message to all who have not fought this battle yet. They tell us to rally the troops and stand by their side, at the very least show support by wearing pink.” 
And it’s not only Graybill’s volunteer firemen – also known as the Guardians of the Ribbon – wearing pink.
According to what Graybill told us in front of the Hermosa Beach Fire House, the Pink Heals Tour does not make a dime.  They rely on the signature pink T-shirt sales and the generosity of strangers to help continue their mission of love and hope.
He also stated that it is about raising community awareness and getting the different cities to spotlight a resident cancer survivor and – independently of The Pink Heals Tour – the local community raises funds for that person.
That very night, I logged onto their website and I purchased my Pink Heals T-shirt – in which its sales fund the Pink HEALS tour 100% -- to help these fire fighters continue their selfless tour to support women and raise awareness. 
As we walked away, Shane asked me if I knew anyone who had ever had cancer.  Tears immediately stung my eyes when I reminded him that both his paternal grandparents -- Oma and Poppa -- had both died from cancer.  I also thought of my dear friend Andrea from high school who didn’t win her battle seven years ago, but then I thought of some of my closest friends who have fought this brave fight and won their mêlée.
I thought about how this organization is helping to raise awareness for women like them.  If you want to head out to support the Pink Fire Trucks, they will be continuing The 2011 Mothers Day Mini/Summer Fall Tour in California – throughout May -- in Valencia, Santa Clarita, Bakersfield, San Luis Obispo, Fresno, Stockton, San Jose, San Francisco, Sacramento, Fairfield  and Napa.  (Please see the website for the full tour dates throughout the U.S.)
“Men, doing what men should do, honoring, protecting and standing up to anything that might harm our women and children.  Defending them at all costs, making a statement of true Love and Hope by coming together as a unified front, wearing her color with pride and letting the World know that We Stand Ready for War Against this disease we call cancer,” Graybill also stated on his brochure.
Please visit http://www.pinkfiretrucks.org/ to purchase apparel or just check out this amazing cause.

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