POSTED: Tuesday, October 9, 2012 - 6:32pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, October 9, 2012 - 6:37pm
"Turn Tyler Pink"
Tyler, Texas — Steve Countryman, Tyler Fire Department Captain, says "Turn Tyler Pink" all started because of one woman who was very close to the Tyler Fire Family, " This all started with Tonia's story. and you know this was a young lady that was the picture of hell. She had a young child, it was their only child just a couple years old. She lost her battle and we saw what effect that had on that family and ya know we just wanted to do whatever we can to give them just a little bit of relief."
Tonia Malcolm, the late wife of a Tyler Fireman, lost her battle with cancer in 2008.
But out of Tonia's tragedy comes a trail of pink that will continue her legacy, forever.
Turn Tyler Pink is something the Tyler Fire Dept has done since 2009, in Tonia's honor.
Their mission to raise awareness about cancer, something that people struggle with every day, including some of their very own, even still today.
Countryman says, "This past year we have had four of our firefighters family's that have been diagnosed and/or treated for cancer." Including the wife of Firefighter Shawn Hatton from station 10. Shawn's wife Emily says she's one of the lucky ones.
She says, "I was diagnosed in April and I had a lot of biopsies and finally on May 4, this year, I had surgery and they were able to get all the cancer."
Emily Hatton now wears a "survivor" sweatshirt that the Tyler Fire Dept. made for her.
She said without her Tyler Fire-Family, she doesn't know what she would have done.
She says, "They brought us a check to my house after I was home recovering from my surgery. Not only were they there financially for us but they were there emotionally to support us as well, just being there to pray for us."