PATERSON, NJ- Members of the Paterson Fire Department, in an effort spearheaded by their unions, FMBA Locals 2 and 202, are set to once again don commemorative t-shirts to increase awareness of breast cancer and to raise funds for research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure.
For the seventh consecutive year, the effort is being conducted to raise funds that will be used by the St. Joseph’s University Medical Center Foundation to support residents fighting breast cancer and is taking place in conjunction with National Breast Cancer Awareness Month which begins on October 1.
In 2017 the campaign, spearheaded by Paterson firefighters Amer Alnatur and Frank Lozada, raised $16,000, bringing the total amount over the six years of the effort to over $55,000.
“Our union has strived to not only support the community, but also to involve the community directly in our efforts to make Paterson even better,” the firefighters said jointly. “By making these T-shirts, as well newly introduced commemorative pins and lanyards, even more accessible to the public, we believe we will break last year’s record and donate even more to this important cause.”
Kyle Hughes, President of FMBA Local 2, commended Alnatur and Lozada for their efforts to include the entire community into the campaign saying that “we subscribe to the idea of One Paterson, and are committed to making our city the best, and in this case healthiest, it can be.”
“No doubt, with an increasing number of courageous women joining our ranks, we all have our sister’s back too.”
Citing statistics that show that firefighters have a far increased risk of developing cancer than the general population, Hughes said that “while breast cancer is not on the list of those that are killing firefighters, we know all too well how the disease ravages a body.”
“In addition to being firefighters we are also husbands, sons, and fathers, so we also know how this disease has altered the lives of so many women in our lives,” he continued. “The fact that our members have chose to take this on as a cause is another reflection of the selflessness that comes with the profession, the desire to always put others above ourselves.
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