HAZLETON, LUZERNE COUNTY --Andy Mhley knows all too well what cancer can do, and he plans to spread a message of hope with the help of a pink fire truck.
The city firefighter is starting in Texas and ending in Las Vegas with his leg of the "Pink Heals Tour," which is sponsored by Guardians of the Ribbon. The tour stopped in Hazleton last year, and this year -- sparking an interest in Mhley. He was amazed by the truck, covered with signatures of those who won their battles with cancer.
"You hear people say, 'I survived 3 years, 4 years, 5 years, 10 years,' which is great," said Mhley.
But there are also signatures of those who lost love ones to the disease. Mhley watched his brother lose his courageous battle in 2003. Gabe Mhley was the deputy fire chief in Hazleton.
"It started in the eye, in his retina, and he survived 16 years," recalled Mhley. "And then it came back. It metastasized to the liver. They got it under control, but it spread to the abdomen, and that, sort of, was it."
Pink is the color that marks breast cancer awareness, and Mhley hopes the truck is seen by many.
"We need to get the message out there for some lady out there, some younger lady to go get a mammogram or some other test they need to do," he said, also suggesting men take a cue and get necessary health care screenings.
"I've seen what cancer can do," said Mhley. "I saw it slowly take my brother's life."
But he hopes the "Pink Heals Tour" saves lives, one fire truck full of hope at a time.
If you'd like to follow Mhley on his leg of the tour, or learn more about the "Pink Heals Tour," just copy and paste the following in your web browser: http://pinkfiretrucks.org/
Also, to learn more about Foundation 58, a charity started by Mhley in his brother's memory, check out this web site: http://foundation58.org/
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