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Firefighters with Pink Heals Tour swing through Genoa area visiting cancer survivors

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013 5:30 a.m. CST
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(Rob Winner – rwinner@shawmedia.com)
Genoa resident Bob Probst (left) watches as his wife Bevia Probst, a breast cancer survivor, is hugged by Eddie McDonald, a firefighter from Orange Beach, Ala., during the Pink Heals Tour outside Pete's Castle in Genoa, Ill., Monday, Aug. 5, 2013. The Pink Heals Tour has traveled the country to raise cancer awareness and to honor and support those who have fought and are battling all types of cancer.

GENOA – There was a surprise for Carol Fogle in the parking lot of Genoa-Kingston High School. 

The administrative assistant to the Genoa-Kingston School District 424 superintendent was talking with her co-workers in the school’s main office when she was asked to come to the front desk. 

Waiting there were firefighters dressed in pink along with friends and family. Outside the office was a convoy of firetrucks and ambulances, including a pink firetruck towing a trailer with a giant silver Ribbon of Hope. 

Fogle was surprised. Standing before her were Pink Heals Tour guardians ready to hug and support her fight against breast cancer. She was diagnosed more than three years ago. 

“I feel like I know there’s lots of other people out there that battle this, and it’s very difficult, but I can’t ask for better support from my family and my co-workers and my church,” Fogle said. 

Fogle was almost in tears after she was guided outside the school – with the Cogs’ school band playing – to sign the pink truck. The stop was one of four visits the Pink Heals Tour made Monday to support residents fighting cancer.

The Pink Heals Tour has traveled through six states since June. It stationed its vehicles at Pete’s Castle Marathon in Genoa before making home visits. 

Cori Petersen-Cork, vice president of Pete’s Castle and Burlington Oasis, helped coordinate the visits, while using the ice cream parlor at the gas station and T-shirt sales to raise funds for local charities. She said she wanted to help because she lost her mother to cancer several years ago. 

“It’s just a very healing, loving thing,” she said of the tour. “… It lets them know someone is thinking of them.” 

Firefighters from other cities and states were traveling on the tour. Eddie McDonald, a Pink Heals guardian from Alabama, said the guardians were also there to teach people how to raise funds for local charities and ensure their donations are spent locally.

The tour is meant to support women battling cancer because of the influential role they play in people’s lives, he said.

“They’re the backbone of this country, plain and simple,” McDonald said. 

Barbara Barrett was another woman the Pink Heals guardians visited. The receptionist for Dr. Jeffrey Caron in Genoa was told three weeks ago her breast cancer was in remission. She said she wanted to support others in their fight. 

“Don’t ever give up,” she said. “Don’t ever stop fighting. Someone is always praying for you, whether you know it or not.” 

How to help

To learn more about helping the Pink Heals Tour or supporting charities in your area, visit their website at http://shawurl.com/pe6.

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