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LOGAN -- A group of Utah firefighters are trying to raise funds for a pink fire engine. The unique truck would travel around the state and the U.S. -- not to fight fires, but cancer. For some of these firefighters, the battle to extinguish cancer is a very personal one.
The group hopes something as big -- and pink -- as this fire engine will help people remember to get screened for cancer.
The fire truck may not look like much now; the water tanks have rotted away, and the interior could use a lot of work. Built in the early ‘70s, this engine has already seen its share of fires. But for Weber County firefighter Rod Kearl, once restored, this fire truck will help fight a disease that hits close to home.
"In June, my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer," he said, "so I've been living this nightmare for the past 10 months."
Kearl is helping form the Northern Utah chapter of "Pink Heals," an organization that started in Glendale, Ariz.
With her breast cancer now in remission, Kearl's wife Jenny says she has been overwhelmed by the support by those around her, and from firefighters now working to bring "Pink Heals" to Utah.
"It's really been humbling," she said. "A very moving experience."
Jenny Kearl says the campaign will not only help those living with cancer and survivors, but also remind others to get screened for breast cancer.
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"It's so curable if it's caught early," she said. "That is the most horrible thing, and the most horrible feeling, to be sitting in the doctor's office and have them come in and say, 'We need to talk.'"
Fire engines with Pink Heals pick up signatures all over the country.
"Anyone that's had any kind of family member or gone through cancer is going to be able to sign this truck," Rod Kearl said.
As part of its inauguration, this old truck will hit the road on a 10-day tour, helping spread an important message.
"It's just good to help people, and we absolutely do not want them going through this alone," Rod Kearl said.
The group hopes to have this fire engine reconditioned and painted pink within a couple of months. They will also be holding a 5K and auction to raise funds for that next month.