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Pink Heals Tour coming to Starkville

September 18, 2010

The inflatable mascot of the national Pink Heals Tour.

On Oct. 2, Starkville will be invaded by Pink Fire trucks.
This special event will help indigent and uninsured women in the Golden Triangle area get the breast care services they need to live a healthy life.
The Starkville Fire Department and OCH Regional Medical Center have teamed up to bring the National Pink Heals Tour to Starkville, the only stop on the tour in Mississippi.
And as part of the special event, Starkville Fire Department and OCH Regional Medical Center will sponsor a family-fun festival, with all proceeds going to the Center for Breast Health and Imaging’s Patient Assistance Fund.
“This event is special for a number of reasons,” said Charles Yarbrough of the Starkville Fire Department. “First, it is a great way for men and youth to give women the honor they deserve. This event is so much more than about fighting cancer. That’s only a small portion. The overall goal is to show the women of Starkville that they are special.”
Yarbrough said for women who have battled cancer or are currently battling cancer, the event can show them that they are not alone in their fight.
“I believe that in some way or another, cancer has affected all families,” Yarbrough said. “We hope that the community will learn that there are a number of people in the community who are battling cancer right now. This event will serve as a reminder for women and men to complete their annual physicals, in hopes to prevent or detect this disease. This event is not just about breast cancer, but all forms of cancer.”
The Starkville Fire Department chose the OCH Breast Health Imaging Center as the focal point for the event, because there are a number of women who do not have insurance or the means to cover the costs of the examinations needed to detect breast cancer.
The money raised from this event will allow those individuals to receive those examinations.
“My prayer is that the money raised from this event will allow some women an opportunity for early detection and defeat this form of deadly cancer,” Yarbrough said. “After all the mission of the Starkville fire department is “serve and protect the citizens of Starkville and all who enter our city.”
As a member of the OCH Center for Breast Health and Imaging staff, and a breast cancer survivor herself, Cherri Lightsey knows the importance of community support.
“It is exciting to be a part of this event to raise funds for screening mammography
and ultrasound for ladies who might choose not to have them  because of a
lack of funds,” Lightsey said.
“As a breast cancer survivor, it is a huge emotional high to know that you are not in the fight alone.  Words cannot describe the overwhelming feeling that comes from a show of support and encouragement from not only friends and family but also from people in the community and across the country that you don’t even know. This is going to be a wonderful event that touches so many people.”
Another thing that makes this event so special is that it is the first time the Pink Heals Tour has been to Mississippi, and they chose to come to Starkville. Pink Fire Trucks from Phoenix, Ariz. will be the special guest at Station 1. The Pink Heals Tour goes across the nation honoring women and honoring women who have or are cancer survivors.
Kicking off the Oct. 2 event will be a 5K run/walk, at 7 a.m. the Starkville Sportsplex.
The fun continues at 4 p.m. at Station 1 with the family fun festival with a variety of activities, including a pink fireman’s helmet giveaway, inflatable jumpers, face painting by ZTA Sorority, sno-cones, a visit by “Sparky” the Starkville Fire Department mascot, a coloring contest and music by Thurlow’s Party to Go.
The Little Dooey will also have barbecue plates as part of the fund-raising effort. Tickets will be sold in advance at key locations.
The pink fire trucks will arrive at 5 p.m. and at 6 p.m., there will be a special presentation and local cancer survivors will have the opportunity to sign the trucks, before the pink fire trucks depart at 7 p.m. to continue their nationwide tour.
The family fun festival is free and open to the public.
Starkville Fire Department and OCH Regional Medical Center are looking for sponsors for this event, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the Center for Breast Health and Imaging Patient Assistance Fund. Contact Mel Thurlow at OCH Regional Medical Center at 615-3066 to become a “hot,” “scorching,” “blazing” or “inferno” sponsor.
For information about the National Pink Heals Tour, go to the website at http://www.pinkfiretrucks.org.
For more about the local event, contact Charles Yarbrough at (662) 722-0051.

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