Pink Heals stopping in Mount Airy Monday

Staff Report

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The Pink Heals Tour, which includes local Mount Airy Fire Engineer Brad Harrell, will be making stops in Mount Airy Monday. Anyone viewing the videos routinely produced by drivers on the tour are advised to have tissue handy because the testimonials are sure to bring a tear.

“If anything could happen over the past two days to us it has,” said Harrell Friday afternoon. He explained an axle on one of the seven vehicles forming the tour had broken after arriving in Chapel Hill. Harrell said the city “opened its doors” and “got a team of six guys to repair it and we were back on the road very soon afterwards.” He said the experience is like being a part of the president’s motorcade. The group planned to be in High Point by this morning.

The pink fleet on tour is made up of three firetrucks, two police cars, a tour bus and a fire sports utility vehicle. Harrell’s comments indicated the tour has been equal parts emotional and personal for the drivers.

“The whole tour is incredible. I don’t have a watch on and I don’t know what day it is. I threw my watch in a bag when I started. This has been a turning point for me. I’m with people who need someone pushing for them. So much has happened I can’t begin to tell about it all.”

He said one memory which will stay with him is how the tour drivers in their pink turnout gear arrived at the University of Chapel Hill Cancer Center and were instructed to split up and hit as many wards a possible. He said Chapel Hill’s fire department stood watch on their pink vehicles to allow as many as possible to talk with patients.

“I talked with kids, 5 years and up and older patients,” Harrell said. “One was an older lady there for her first treatment for breast cancer. She was in good spirits and was so glad to see us. She hugged us and said she had to go eat something or she’d cry the rest of the day.”

The tour, which is designed to surprise cancer patients with flowers and support, will make its first stop in the city at the Ice Shack in the parking lot of Mayberry Mall at 9:45 a.m., with the morning event running from 10 a.m. to noon.

Harrell said the trucks and the tour bus will be on display and available for photo ops. The firefighters will be selling T-shirts which fund the project and at 11 a.m., city officials will have a presentation.

Harrell said the afternoon will include some surprise stops in the area.

“We all, fire, police and public servant, put our lives on the line every day,” Harrell said. “This is just another way to be there for a neighbor, to fight for the women in our lives who have meant so much.”


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