Pink Heals Tour Stops in Rockford

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- A tour involving a lot of pink made a special stop in the Stateline, changing the way we see a symbol of the fire department and a deadly disease.

The Pink Heals Tour stopped by the Swedish American Regional Cancer Center Saturday with firetrucks that are traveling across America to raise awareness for women battling all types of cancer.

The goal is to inspire others to come out and honor women who have fought the disease.

Organizers say the regional cancer center, which opened last fall, was the perfect backdrop for the event.

"The idea of our initiative is to come together," said tour president Dave Graybill. "It shouldn't be about a disease, but it should be about the love of community, the love of her. The Statue of Liberty is a woman, the motherland, mother nature. She is always giving us something to fight for so it's a perfect program."

A Roscoe girl couldn't make it to visit tour so volunteers brought the tour to her. Samantha Roberson, 10, was able to check out the trucks in her neighborhood. They rolled in Saturday afternoon and brought plenty of hugs for the cancer patient.

She was diagnosed with embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma in the fall of 2013. Doctors in Chicago removed a tumor from one of the bones in her leg around Thanksgiving.

During the Pink Heals visit, Roberson signed one of the trucks, and even got to climb inside one and honk the horn. She’s undergone both radiation and chemotherapy and with another 17 weeks of chemo left, she says this visit will help her get through it.

“I miss my family and it’s just hard being gone for a long time,” says Samantha Roberson. “He made me honk the horn and it was really fun and it scared my mom. It makes me really really happy and makes me more stronger," she adds.

A Pink Heals chapter out of South Beloit received a fire truck. It's currently being painted before it hits the road.


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