Firefighters turn Tyler pink for breast cancer awareness - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Firefighters turn Tyler pink for breast cancer awareness

East Texans who attended "Turn Tyler Pink" East Texans who attended "Turn Tyler Pink"
TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

Downtown Tyler turned pink Tuesday evening as hundreds of East Texans gathered to raise awareness for breast cancer.

The "Turn Tyler Pink" event started in 2008 when the Tyler Fire Department set out to support a fellow firefighter's wife who was battling breast cancer.

"Everything was so successful and it touched all of us so much that we decided we wanted to continue and give back to the community and also to help one another because you know, we live with one another at least 24 hours on and 48 hours off. So, certainly it's an extended family. We know each other's wives, kids, parents so it is definitely a big, large family," said Tyler Firefighter Steve Countryman, who helps organize this annual event.

Firefighters and their families sold hats and shirts to raise money for East Texans battling cancer. They said they usually raise about $15,000 a year and hope to raise just as much, if not more this year.

Emily Hatton is a cancer survivor and also a firefighter's wife who said she helped the Tyler firefighters with this event long before she was diagnosed with cancer.

"It's just awesome to know that this group exists, and I've been helping out with it since the start and to go through it now after I've been helping out with it just means so much more to be here. You know, we always helped the other women that came and saw the survivors and you know, you appreciate their stories, but you don't understand until you've been through that. To have this group of firefighters is just an amazing group of people," Hatton said.

Dinah Hockman said her husband has been a Tyler firefighter for 26 years. Hockman said she too was diagnosed with cancer after volunteering with this event.

"I had already been doing it for years. It's been going on and then all of the sudden it affected me. It's a great event it's a amazing. They have supported us, you know, my husband and we've been very fortunate to be part of the fire department family and it's just wonderful," Hockman said.

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