From Oct. 23 to 30, every member of the Airdrie Professional Firefighters Association (APFA) will be sporting a different shirt than their usual attire to bring awareness to the fight against cancer.
“Instead of the traditional button-down shirts that the public is used to seeing us in, we’ll be wearing some regular T-shirts with pink highlights on them, trying to draw some attention to the need to continue funding research for efforts to improve treatment for cancer and to its eventual eradication,” said Matt Elgie, secretary of the APFA.
While the firefighters are not collecting donations themselves, Elgie said they are encouraging people to make a contribution to a cancer charity – be that the Canadian Cancer Society or another organization.
“October is known as Breast Cancer Awareness Month…but we’re trying to make an effort not to be insensitive to the number of people that are (impacted) by cancer in so many other different ways,” he said “We have a lot of members with personal experiences or have family members that have (battled) cancer in a number of different forms and we wanted to allow people the freedom to go make a personal donation on their own in a way that’s most personal to them.”
According to statistics published by the Canadian Cancer Society on its website, an estimated 206,200 new cases of cancer and 80,800 deaths from cancer will occur in Canada this year.
The top four most often newly diagnosed types of cancer are lung, colorectal, breast and prostate cancer.
According to Elgie, this is the fourth year the APFA has held this awareness campaign.
“We changed up the shirt a bit this year. I think this is the third type of shirt we’ve worn overall,” he said.
“We have had some interest from the public asking if they could purchase shirts. We’ve been encouraging people – if they do have a desire to purchase shirts like that from us – to let us know and we’ll consider doing something bigger scale next year.”
The APFA has 68 members operating from three firehalls in Airdrie.