Pink Monte Carlo helping to spread breast cancer awareness

Lisa Covington, a breast cancer survivor, foreground, along with Carrie Rangel, Lawrence, who is a breast cancer survior, show off a 1978 Chevy Monte Carlo, owned by Rangel and her husband, with candy pink paint at a 2008 Betsy Beisechker Memorial Tea at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

Sure, it’s not the most masculine-looking ride.

Young girls called it a “Barbie” car.

“It has hydraulics,” said Patrick Rangel, owner of the hot candy pink 1978 Chevrolet Monte Carlo convertible. “It’s got 10 switches.”

When Patrick Rangel, 38, drives it alone, he’s not sure what people are thinking – but he’s hopeful he’ll get a message across.

Take one look at the white-and-pink interior with three pink ribbons stitched on them and the license plate holder that says, “Breast cancer survivor,” and it’s clear the sporty convertible isn’t all flash.

Last year, just two weeks after Patrick married Carrie Rangel, 32, his new bride received a breast cancer diagnosis. Carrie, an operating room nurse at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, is in remission.

“Our whole marriage has been nothing but fighting breast cancer,” he said.

When the couple were preparing to move from their home with a three-car garage in Olathe to a house in Lawrence with a two-car garage, Carrie asked Patrick what he was going to do with his former black ride he’s had since college.

“I’m going to dedicate it you and to breast cancer,” he told her on the new year.

He calls the Monte Carlo, “The Pink Cure.”

“The whole message is to hit a new generation that it’s never too young to get breast cancer,” Patrick said. “I think the car is going to make people think, ‘Hey, I can relate to that car and I can relate to the person driving it because they are young like me, so maybe I should actually take the time and check myself for breast cancer too.'”

Just two weeks ago, the car was completed and made its debut at Lawrence Memorial Hospital where Patrick dropped Carrie off for the 10th annual Betsy Beisecker Memorial Tea, a benefit for breast cancer awareness.

When Patrick told Carrie his plans for the car and he was going to be a “breast cancer ambassador, it made me really glad he was my husband,” she said.

The couple plan to sport the vehicle at other breast cancer events and parades.

“We’re both dedicated to breast cancer and fighting the good fight,” Patrick said.