Waterbury officials about to begin annual battle against breast cancer

New Haven

WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — Only News 8 was there to capture a special moment outside Fire Station 10 downtown Thursday.

Waterbury resident Ginne-Rae Clay met with firefighters who are about to kick off their annual mission to raise important funds to help breast cancer patients in Waterbury.

Clay was all smiles Thursday afternoon.

“I just wanted to say thank you,” she said. “I am currently in remission.”

News 8 asked her how it feels to hear herself say that.

“Wonderful,” she said. “Absolutely wonderful.”

Clay spoke in front of about a dozen firefighters all donning brand new sweatshirts with a pink shield on the front and a pink ribbon on the back. Throughout October, they’ll be selling these sweatshirts. Their peers in the police department will be selling hats and shirts designed with their own special breast cancer symbols, and so will the workers in city hall at the mayor’s office.

It’s an annual campaign. This year, they’re raising money for the Harold Leever Regional Cancer Center in Waterbury and St. Mary’s Hospital’s Breast Cancer Screening Fund. The St. Mary’s Foundation helps patients with their financial situations while facing the situation of surviving breast cancer, providing things like free mammograms. Each year, 150-200 women are provided breast health services free of charge.

“People are facing a lot of financial difficulties between COVID and everything else that’s going on in the Greater Waterbury area so this is one way we can help them,” said Amanda Nardiello, Chief Development Officer for St. Mary’s Hospital and Foundation.

“It helps us take care of our patients beyond their medical needs,” said Dr. Jeffrey Bitterman, a Radiation Oncologist at The Leever Center. “Some of our patients have difficulty purchasing the pharmaceuticals they need. Some have difficulty with something basic like paying their rent or electricity.”

First responders will be selling the special merchandise at several locations listed below throughout the month of October. The city’s annual Pink Out Day is Oct. 21 when everyone sports their pink power.

The Fire Department is selling its shirts ($20 short sleeve, $25 long sleeve) at Station 2 Firehouse at 519 E. Main Street; at the chief’s office inside city hall on the fourth floor; and at Brass City Salon — 344 Middlebury Road in Middlebury.

The Police Department is selling silver and gold lapel pins with splashes of pink on the shield for $10. The PD is also selling baseball hats, shirts and face masks.

The mayor’s staff inside city hall is also pitching in. They were showing off “Pinkout 2021” shirts that’ll benefit St. Mary’s. To buy the shirts and “Pink Out” facemasks, click here.

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