Tour seeks to heal wounds of cancer

A pink fire truck parked in front of the Catawba County Justice Center in Newton on Friday afternoon.

People walked up with black pens and wrote all over it – each set of words a message of support for women who have battled cancer.

The truck's visit was a stop on the Pink Heals Guardians of the Ribbons Tour, a nonprofit effort that began several years ago in Arizona as a way to raise awareness of breast and other cancers that women face.

"We're there to bring people in," said Chad Loehr, driver of the truck that stopped in Newton. "You hear pink fire truck, you'll come looking. The idea is to start from the bottom up, regular people helping regular people. We're just regular guys helping the ladies."

Pink Heals representatives sold T-shirts Friday at the justice center. Loehr said money from the sales supports the awareness tour. He said representatives do not take donations, but they encourage residents to donate to cancer support organizations in their areas.

Members of the Newton Fire Department attended Friday's truck stop to support the effort.

Residents turned out to sign the truck, too.

Amy Goforth and Regina Thompson signed in memory of their former boss, former clerk of court Barbara Towery, who died in 1999 after a battle with breast cancer. They also signed with Susan Buckbee in mind.

Buckbee works in the clerk of court office and is in remission from breast cancer.

Goforth and Thompson also participate in Relay for Life.

"Anything to raise the awareness of breast cancer, any cancer, to try to raise money for support," Goforth said.

Loehr's tour group is one of many that travels across the country.

Scheduled stops Friday also included Claremont City Hall, the Conover YMCA and Catawba Valley Medical Center. Hickory held a Pink Heals parade Thursday evening that included area city fire departments. Pink Heals Hickory will also sponsor a benefit ride this morning.