By Amanda Crowe
FAIRBORN — The Fairborn firefighters are turning up the heat on breast cancer with their awareness campaign and a big part of their effort is bringing the first pink vehicle to Greene County.
With a focus on showing support, providing awareness, and giving back hope, members of Fairborn Professional Firefighters Local 1235 are raising money for the Pink Ribbon Girls organization. They have enlisted the help of long-time patient Angela Flatter to organize their fund-raising events.
Flatter, 44, who has Lupus and heart problems, has been in and out of the hospital for the last eight years. She was also diagnosed with an aggressive form of lung cancer in June 2013. On July 22, 2013, she entered The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center for surgery to remove her right lung.
“Station 4 has been coming to my house for about eight years to help me and they have become like family to me,” Flatter said. “This is the first time I am able to give back to them. These are my firefighters and my paramedics, and I want to make this huge for them.”
Firefighter John Howard, who is a medic at Station No. 4, asked Flatter to co-chair the Breast Cancer awareness campaign. Since then she has developed a variety of upcoming events including T-shirt drives at local businesses, a charity softball game, and a formal black tie event in October.
“I am a lung cancer survivor but, to me, cancer is cancer. If you have been on that journey you have to make the best of it,” said Flatter. “After the last year, I thought, ‘Wow I’m still alive,’ after the doctors said I shouldn’t be here. Now I want to help other people. I feel like this is what I’m here for, to give back.”
One of Flatter’s biggest projects has been getting Fairborn their own pink breast cancer awareness vehicle. The City of Fairborn donated a decommissioned medic vehicle to this year’s campaign. It has been wrapped in pink with the “Turning Up the Heat” logo.
“This is huge for Fairborn,” said Flatter. “Huber Heights was the only one who had a pink vehicle, and I thought if they can go it why can’t we. The medic is what takes me to the hospital all the time so it ties in with my story. If my story can help bring attention to this campaign, that’s great. I love giving back to my community and causes that are dear to my heart.”
The Local 1235 unveiled the pink medic at the government center Friday afternoon.
“This is a big day for us,” Flatter added. “This is the only pink medic in the area that we know of and it’s the first pink vehicle in Greene County. I am so proud of all the firefighters. They have worked really hard on this. And I am so thankful to the City of Fairborn for donating the medic. This could not have happened without all of them.”
This vehicle will be driven and displayed at every Turning Up the Heat event, and other local events throughout the area. Anyone can write a message of hope or sign the medic with a $5 donation.
Its first stop will be the Washington Township Fire Department’s annual ice cream social from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 10 at Fire Station 44, 6690 Centerville Business Parkway. Members of the Local 1235 will be there to spread breast cancer awareness and to sell their pink and gray Turning Up the Heat T-shirts, which are $20 each.
All proceeds will benefit the Pink Ribbon Girls’ mission to provide personalized support to young women throughout all phases of the breast cancer journey through education, outreach, awareness, and one-on-one support to women and their families. They also offer free services for those in treatment to help with life needs such as housekeeping, babysitting, meals and transportation. For more information visit their website at pinkribbongirls.org.
Tickets are also on sale now for the Fairborn Firefighters Local 1235, Fairborn Police Department, and Wright State University Police charity softball game. The game will be held Sunday, Sept. 7 at Nischwitz Stadium located next to the WSU Nutter Center. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. and the game starts at 6 p.m. Tickets are $5 per person and can be purchased at the gate, T-shirt selling events or on-line. Children 10 and under are free. There is also limited VIP seating behind home plate for $25.
To learn more about the Turning Up the Heat campaign and events, visit their website at http://local1235turninguptheheat.com/ or contact Angela Flatter at 937-604-8332 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amanda Crowe is editor of the Fairborn Daily Herald covering Fairborn, Yellow Springs, Enon and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Contact her by phone at 878-3993 ext. 134 or on Twitter @FairbornHerald.