Brad Harrell is one of those firefighters who has public service ingrained in his spirit. So when he felt his beloved aunt, Robin Crigger, needed a boost in her fight against cancer, he knew what to do. It took a month of planning but two ladies would soon be “in the pink.”
Harrell, a member of the Pink Heals group, organized a parade to bolster the spirits of his aunt on Saturday. It featured a pink firetruck and he even donned pink turnout gear.
“We’re supporting women who support us,” summarized Harrell. He explained that he has lost a grandmother to cancer and felt moved to cheer on his aunt, who has been fighting cancer for eight years. He said that recently Crigger has had some issues and has begun another round of ten treatments.
One-year cancer survivor Jan Davis also was honored by the parade. She tearfully thanked the officers and family assembled for their support.
Harrell is a member of the Piedmont Chapter of the group led by the Guardians of the Ribbon. The mission of Pink Heals is to raise awareness and funds to fight against cancer. The Pink Truck is named “Debbie” after a cancer survivor. It traveled to Mount Airy from High Point.
“It means a lot to me to be able to do this for my aunt,” said Harrell. Units from many local volunteer fire, rescue and police departments formed a parade Saturday of more than nine vehicles from departments across the area.
The procession wound its way to Mayberry Mall where Crigger and Harrell’s mother, Robin Harris, work at the shaved ice shack. Crigger and Davis were presented with bouquets of flowers donated from Airmont Florist and signed the truck.
According to Harris, Crigger heard the firetruck sirens and went outside of the shack to see what was happening.
“Lord, here comes that pink fire truck!” said Crigger. Who had asked her nephew on many occasions to get “Debbie” to visit Mount Airy. She expressed surprise to see it yesterday.
Harrell explained that anyone battling cancer or a survivor of cancer may sign the truck. People may also sign the truck in memory of cancer victims.
“As soon as you see pink, you think of breast cancer,” said Harrell. “We support women with all cancers who support us.” He said that often worries in people’s lives take attention away from the women who support the firefighters.
“Everyone knows my momma and my aunt,” said Harrell, who said the hardest part of the month-long project was keeping the secret from Crigger. “This is for everyone with cancer, not just one person,” added Harrell. “Until you battle cancer, you don’t know what it’s like to have someone on your side.”
According to Harrell, the Pink Heals group plans for a mid-U.S. tour this year, to take its message of support and hope around the nation and to raise awareness about cancer in a different city every day for three months.
Reach David Broyles at email@example.com or 719-1952.