• February 21, 2017

Pink Heals Tour reaches Darnall

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Wednesday, November 2, 2011 12:00 pm

By Rose L. Thayer

Fort Hood Herald

The way Patti Irvin looked at life, you graduate high school, go to college, get breast cancer. She said she'd seen so many women in her family suffer through it, she never even considered not getting it.

"The question for me was when the dagger was going to fall," said the mechanical engineer with facilities management, Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center, as she stood outside the hospital staring at three pink fire trucks on Oct. 25.

For the first time, the national not-for-profit Pink Heals Tour drove onto Fort Hood, offering its inspiration outside of Darnall. The tour is part of a nationwide effort dedicated to raising awareness for cancer during October. Organizations embraced the color pink originally as a symbol for the fight against breast cancer, but now the color connotes awareness for all cancers.

Cancer survivors and their caregivers are invited to sign the pink fire trucks, which now have more than 450,000 signatures on them.

"It's pretty awesome," said Irvin, even though the five-year cancer survivor said she doesn't need a designated month to make her aware of its reach.

"I'm aware of it every day of my life," said Irvin. "It's not a bad idea, but I would think breast cancer is on the back of everyone's mind all the time."

Soon, Irvin found herself surrounded by the firemen of the Pink Heals Tour, who, all dressed in pink, wrapped their arms around her one at a time and hugged her.

"Men are wearing her color," said Jeff McCarroll a firefighter from Buckeye, Ariz., who spent 20 days on the tour. "And it's not because she's sick, it's because we love her."

McCarroll's wife is a five-year cancer survivor and his inspiration for taking time off to go on the tour.

"Personally, if I touch one life a day, then I did what I came to do. I cry at least once a day," he said.

McCarroll and his fellow firefighters then recalled the names of the many children, men and women they'd met on tour.

Bob Bidwell, a firefighter from South Windsor, Conn. said, "It's just an unforgettable experience to hear them share their stories."

Continuing, he said, "They're the real heroes. They're much stronger than we'll ever be."

Contact Rose L. Thayer at rthayer@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7463. Follow her on Twitter at KDHreporter.

More about

More about

More about

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
  • 2 Don't Threaten or Abuse. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated. AND PLEASE TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
  • 3 Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
  • 4 Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 5 Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 6 Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Welcome to the discussion.

KDH Poll

Baby and beauty contests to be held at Killeen Mall
Posted: February 21, 2017

Local babies, children, teens and young adults are invited to participate in the Sunburst USA Beautiful Baby Contest on March 25 at the Killeen Mall.

more »
No new information in boat-crushing death
Posted: February 21, 2017

Police have no new information about the man who was found dead trapped under a boat and a trailer Friday, according to KPD spokeswoman Tina Amerson.

more »