When doctors diagnosed Nicki Janne, Wichita, with breast cancer in January 2010, her friends and family rallied in support.
Her friends in the Wichita Fire Department tagged her in a picture of a pink firetruck on Facebook. They began to tease Janne’s husband, Richard, an antique firetruck collector, saying they would paint one of his trucks pink.
Her husband, perhaps taking the jokes seriously, researched pink firetrucks and discovered the Guardians of the Ribbon, a group of firefighters, EMS and police officers raising money and awareness for all forms of cancer. The Jannes’ liked the group and started a Wichita chapter.
After receiving a lead from a friend, the Jannes contacted Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical about a recently retired fire truck. The Lawrence City Commission agreed to donate the truck to the chapter last November. The truck is now ready for action, complete with a fresh pink paint job.
The truck’s first trip will be to Lawrence. City commissioners are hosting a dedication ceremony for the truck at 6 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall.
The Guardians of the Ribbon will drive the truck around Kansas to various events. Anyone affected by cancer can sign the truck, which will serve as a traveling memorial.
“It’s amazing how healing that one little gesture can be,” Janne said, who is now finished with the radiation phase of her cancer treatment.