PATERSON, NJ - For the eighth consecutive year members of the Paterson Fire Department, in an effort spearheaded by their unions, FMBA Locals 2 and 202, will be wearing, and selling, commemorative t-shirts to increase awareness of breast cancer and to raise funds for research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and cure.
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 2018 the campaign raised a record $17,000, bringing the total amount raised to over $75,000 in eight years,Paterson firefighter Frank Lozada, one of the organizers of the effort said.
“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,” Lozada said. “By making these T-shirts more accessible to the public, we believe we will once again break last year’s record and donate even more to this important cause.”
Adopting the theme of “no one fights alone” the 2019 t-shirt celebrates not just firefighters but also police officers, EMTs, dispatchers,nurses, and teachers, all joined together as “Silk City Guardians.” The shirts, just $20 each, also include a maltese cross on the chest and an American flag on the right sleeve.
According to the website set up for the effort the funds raised have provided direct assistance to 150 patients battling cancer including by helping to purchase 100 sets of prosthetic material for women who have undergone mastectomies and contributing $15,000 towards the cost of medication for patients who are uninsured or otherwise could not afford it.
Citing statistics that show that firefighters have a far increased risk of developing cancer than the general population, Kyle Hughes, president of FMBA Local 2, 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 chosen 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.
Editor's Note- TAPinto Paterson Editor Steve Lenox provides public relations services to Paterson FMBA Local 2
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