Pink Heals mending America, visiting areas

Pink Heals Tour stopped by Newport Elementary in Crosby last Friday (Nov. 1) morning to greet computer teacher Gayla Haas

BAYTOWN, CROSBY, HIGHLANDS – Last week San Jacinto Methodist Hospital hosted a series of events that have come to be known as the 4th Annual Pink Heals Event, this week they are hosting a Women’s Health Fair Education and Free Screenings.

Last week’s special cancer awareness event brought to town Dave Graybill, former Olympian, former pro baseball player and former fireman that in 2007 put together a program to celebrate women, inspire hope and help communities raise funds in the battle against cancer. Throughout the United States he drives and rides pink fire trucks to bring attention to the battle. On Friday, Dave and others toured Crosby and Highlands visiting cancer survivors.

“Create a program that celebrates your mother because you love her not because she is sick, you inspire the neighbor to take care of the neighbor and you come together based on love. You have to start at the base to get a program started to help people,” explained Graybill at the San Jacinto Mall surrounded by Pink Firetrucks, the San Jacinto Hospital Health Trailer, booths by such companies as the Chick Fill-A, members of the Baytown Police Department and Harris County Sheriff’s Office.

“Every city we go to we develop a relationship with certain local charities that provide services out to the communities. What we try to do is 100% of every dollar made go out to the communities as services, so no one is making salaries from it. So, if you like me don’t give the money to me, give it to the lady across the street. What we have is the only charity that i know of that has created a merchandising brand to sustain itself without ever taking a donated dollar to sustain itself. So what I am offering is a free franchise that generates money and you give it back to your people for healthcare. Our thriving motivation is the woman that pays taxes and votes. Then I leave town.” said Graybill.

The Pink Heals fund helps out cancer patients if they have financial problems while they are having treatment at the San Jacinto Cancer Center. The fund helps them with their bills it could be mortgage, utilities, medical expenses, prescriptions or whatever their needs are.

“This year, I think Friday was so special for me because so many individual patients were highlighted from the community. We didn’t pick those patients, the cancer center did not, that is from people calling me and saying, ‘Hey, I know this lady, please visit this patient.’ And we would set those meetings up and to watch the firemen one on one with them was the most special thing I’ve done in four years.” said Denise Martinez Cancer Program Director for San Jacinto Medical Hospital.

But there are emotions, “At 9:30 a.m. there was no one here, I was nervous– I turned around and at five minutes ‘til ten the trucks were coming and there was a whole crowd and I teared up and got goose bumps. I love what I do everyday and the job that I do everyday at the Cancer Center but this right here brings it all home. It is worth every hour of sleep that I lost or every minute I got behind just to watch a survivor get hugged by a fireman on that truck is what it is all about. I can’t wait to do it again” Martinez said.