WOONSOCKET — Fire Capt. Michael Morin is no stranger to breast cancer. He lost his sister, Jane Houle, to the disease in 1997, when she was just 41 years old.
This month, Morin and other city firefighters are supporting cancer research by wearing pink shirts in recognition of October as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Morin said local firefighters are participating in The Rhode Island Pink Heals tour, which has once again teamed up with firefighters throughout the state to wear pink T-shirts while on duty to support the women of Rhode Island with all types of cancer.
All of the city’s firefighters, fire officers and administrative staff are wearing pink Saturday, Oct. 19, through Saturday, Oct. 26, to honor women fighting breast cancer. The firefighters will be wearing the shirts in lieu of their uniforms.
Morin says the firefighters hope to raise awareness, and show support.
“Many of us have family members who have been affected by breast cancer, so this is our way of raising awareness and money to aid in the fight against breast cancer,” he said.
The firefighters have been selling the shirts as part the fundraiser involving other fire departments in support of the fight against breast and other cancers. Firefighters throughout the state are expected to raise around $15,000 this year for Pink Heals, a national movement in which firefighters support women with cancer.
Pink Heals is an organization that drives pink fire trucks across the United States to support women in their fight against cancer and inspire men to get involved. The organization was started in Glendale, Arizona by a firefighter named Dave Graybill.
The “Guardian of The Ribbon,” a group of firefighters, police officers and public safety officials in the community, drive pink fire trucks across the country every year to spread awareness and support all women in their fight against cancer.
The Guardians bring the tour to help raise money and awareness for the non-profit entities that help women in their city and state.
In addition, this nonprofit supports and helps other nonprofit programs to raise money by bringing the pink fire trucks to various fundraisers to assist in their efforts at no charge to the organization.
(Follow Joseph Fitzgerald on Twitter @jofitz7)