TYLER (KYTX) - Downtown Tyler was painted pink as people in the community came together to raise awareness about breast cancer Tuesday night.
October is breast cancer awareness month. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 230,000 will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year.
Tyler firefighter Steven Wieczor and his fellow firefighters stepped outside their fire station Tuesday, not to battle a fire, but to embrace women who are battling a terrible disease.
They say it takes a real man to wear pink, but it takes a strong man with a big heart to put on an entire pink uniform.
"You are our heroes just as much as we might be yours," Steven Wieczor told a cancer patient.
The same love and support that was shown at hospitals across Tyler was translated to the downtown square where people from all backgrounds gathered together to raise awareness about breast cancer.
Christina Stoddard was a smiling face we saw among the crowd.
She's still smiling today after battling ovarian and lung cancer.
"During the diagnosis and treatment process, I was diagnosed with breast cancer as well," said Christina Stoddard.
Now, she's an advocate for early detection, encouraging women and men to not wait too late to get checked out by their doctor.
"If you look to the right and look to the left, one of three people are going to be affected," said Cindy Covalt.
18 years ago, Cindy Covalt's mother died from ovarian cancer. For four years now, Cindy's been battling breast cancer.
"I mean it was tough, we took a couple of weeks to just kind of let it sink in and figure out what we were going to do," said Covalt.
It's a battle she's fighting with confidence. A battle that many of us fight within our own families.