Pink Heals brings hope, promise to Madison

MADISON – “Pink” was the word.

Rain didn't hamper the spirit of visitors at the Pink Heals stop at Madison Hospital. (CONTRIBUTED)
Rain didn’t hamper the spirit of visitors at the Pink Heals stop at Madison Hospital. (CONTRIBUTED)

The Pink Heals Tour arrived in Madison on Oct. 16 with five pink fire trucks, each affectionately with a female name, Capt. Russ Kennington with Madison Fire & Rescue Department said.

The tour also included a pink emergency vehicle, a 15-foot tall Ribbon of Hope and the Pink Heals tour bus parked for inspection at the Madison Hospital professional building.

Founded in 2007, Pink Heals is dedicated to people battling cancer, especially women. Using the theme of public safety, the pink fire trucks represent their vision to put people first instead of causes (pinkfiretrucks.org).

“These apparatus, along with the 10 men and women drivers, are committed to their charity’s ability to bring about long-lasting change in people’s lives by helping to create immediate funds for individual communities through their first responders,” Kennington said.

Gigi’s Cupcakes, First Response towing, Madison Hospital Breast Center, Painted Bra Art Project and Madison firefighters set up booths for food, T-shirts and information. “Money made from sales were donated, wholly or in part, to entities that raise awareness, perform research or support women affected by cancer,” Kennington said.

This venture in Madison started about five years ago, spearheaded by Capt. Jason Tidwell. Fire departments promote fire prevention instead of suppression, and, using that same philosophy, Tidwell guided the Madison department to support Pink Heals.

“Through this commitment, Madison Fire & Rescue, Madison Professional Firefighters Association, Madison Hospital, Pink Heals Tour and many Madison citizens have supported every effort,” Kennington said. “Ten of thousands of dollars have been donated to local causes fighting this disease and supporting local women who continue their fight.”

Madison firefighters often wear pink T-shirts in October to encourage awareness. “Our personnel’s support of this cause comes from their belief that we can beat these diseases. We’ve come so far in battling these diseases and have seen firsthand the positive benefits … of hope.”

“Quoting Christopher Reeve, ‘Once you choose hope, anything’s possible,'” Kennington said.

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