Downers Grove - Firefighters and police officers dressed head to toe in pink gear will hop aboard four pink fire trucks and make their way to Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital to raise awareness of cancer as part of the Pink Heals Tour.
Upon their arrival, they will surprise patients in the hospital’s oncology unit and at home. These visits, which occur across the country, are a time for the firefighters and police officers to offer hugs and encouraging words to those fighting cancer.
Downers Grove firefighter/paramedic Joel Mains has been volunteering and traveling the country on the Pink Heals Tour since 2010, when he and fellow firemen dressed in pink firefighting gear and arrived unannounced at the home of a woman who had just finished her first round of chemotherapy.
“It was such a powerful moment. I was hooked from that moment on,” Mains said. “A large part of me is a caregiver so something like this scratches that itch. It’s really taking care of people in their time of need.”
Pink Heals is a national organization of firefighters and police officers who volunteer to travel across the country in pink fire trucks and police cars providing support and encouragement to women battling cancer. In addition to their national tour, Pink Heals also has numerous local chapters which allow support to be given to women throughout the year.
The visit to Good Samaritan Hospital will launch a local chapter for the Chicagoland area. A fire truck named “Leslie” will be stationed at the Darien/Woodridge Fire Station #2 to be used during visit to patients’ homes. The truck was named after a firefighter named Leslie from Indiana who passed away from cancer. “Leslie” is covered in tens of thousands of signatures and inspirational messages which were written at previous Pink Heals events across the country.
Joining Mains at Good Samaritan Hospital’s event will be members of the Downers Grove Professional Firefighters I.A.F.F. Local 3234. The union supports the hospital’s Wig Boutique, which provides free wigs to women fighting cancer.
“We are so grateful for our ongoing partnership with the Downers Grove Fire Department,” said Dr. Gale England, a breast surgeon with Advocate Medical Group who treats patients at Good Samaritan Hospital. “Their yearly donations to the wig boutique offer women fighting cancer a free wig, which is such a gift to these patients. I am excited to see our partnership continue with Pink Heals.”
Community members are invited to take photos with the pink fire trucks, meet the firefighters on the Pink Heals Tour and purchase t-shirts to support the Wig Boutique from 4-6 pm Tuesday, Aug. 6 at Good Samaritan Hospital.
Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital is committed to providing excellent care and a high level of service. Over the past 35 years, it has evolved into a recognized leader in health care. Deemed one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals by Truven Health Analytics, Good Samaritan Hospital is the only health care organization in the nation to earn the prestigious 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. Good Samaritan Hospital features DuPage County’s only Level I trauma center and a certified Level III neonatal intensive care unit. The hospital is noted for cancer care, women and children’s services and surgical services and has received the American Nurses Credentialing Center Magnet® designation, the highest honor and level of recognition awarded to nursing excellence in national and international health care. Good Samaritan Hospital is part of Advocate Health Care.