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Firefighters don pink all month in support of breast cancer awareness

Metro Wire Staff

Stevens Point firefighters this month will sport the color pink during October to support breast cancer awareness.

The department has been selling pink t-shirts to the public as a fundraiser for local breast cancer patients for nearly a decade, according to Assistant Fire Chief JB Moody, who talked about this year’s pink t-shirts at Tuesday’s police and fire commission meeting. Each year’s t-shirt has been emblazoned with a different design.

The 2019 t-shirts are on sale now at Fire Station No. 1, 1701 Franklin St. T-shirts this year were designed with a colleague in mind, Moody said, a local nurse who is battling breast cancer.

T-shirts are $10 each through size XL, with an additional cost for larger sizes.

Firefighters are exposed to carcinogens and other chemicals while on the job, and are disproportionately diagnosed with breast cancer; just one of many cancers linked to the work firefighters do.

With one in eight women diagnosed each year, an estimated 300,000 new cases of breast cancer and 46,000 deaths will be reported in 2019. Among all women affected, 85 percent have no family history.

Firefighter/Paramedic Jason Pettis, who is also the director of the SPFD Local 484 Charitable Organization, said firefighters are often motivated to get involved in cancer-awareness causes because they have been personally affected by the disease.

“We are supporting breast cancer awareness and prevention by encouraging others to give so that no breast cancer patient goes without life-saving treatments or having hope for a cure,” Pettis said in a news release. “Everyone is at risk for breast cancer.”

According to Pettis, the SPFD established its charitable foundation in 2015, an answer to the rising number of requests for donations throughout the community. The organization includes current and retired members of the IAFF Local 484.

“We are committed in being active and giving back to our community,” Pettis said, adding to date, the organization has given back over $121,000 to the community.

Firefighters will continue to wear the pink shirts throughout October, with the exception of Fridays, when they will wear red shirts to show their support for the U.S. Armed Forces.

For more information, contact the Stevens Point Fire Fighters [Local 484] Charitable Foundation at charities@stevenspointfirefighters.org.