In October, Project Pink Wheels was launched as a vehicle of hope for the Contra Costa community that has been stricken or affected by cancer. A bright pink KME fire engine will be used to escort cancer patients to their first or last cancer treatment within Contra Costa County.
Project Pink Wheels also serves as a "rolling memorial." Local cancer survivors and fighters are encourage to write their name on the fire engine. Family members of past cancer fighters are invited to write the names to honor their loved ones.
Leimpeter's wife, Amy, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005. Leimpeter and his family received an overflowing amount of support from his community. His goal was to pay it forward by being that sign of hope for his surrounding community.
"When she was hit with cancer, her strength, her courage, and her inspiration to me, helped me to develop this, said Leimpeter. "I couldn't have done it without her."
"When he (Chris Leimpeter) first started putting it together, one of the things that I immediately thought was this was sort of a symbol for people within the community that that we see you and you are not alone," said Amy Leimpeter, cancer survivor.
"When you go into your first treatment, you are so nervous and when you are coming out with your last appointment, it's exciting. This would be so cool to celebrate it all because that's really what it should be."
Pink is a color that represents breast cancer, but Project Pink Wheels is a vehicle that represents all cancers.
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11-year-old Finley Brown, a Moraga resident and cancer survivor, was invited to sign the bright pink engine Thursday afternoon. Instead of writing her own name on the fire engine, in a selfless gesture, she decided to honor her grandfather who lost his battle against cancer. Brown was diagnosed with Wilms tumor, a form of rare kidney cancer, three days after her sixth birthday. On her last chemotherapy treatment, Moraga-Orinda Fire Department escorted her to her final appointment.
SIGN OF HOPE: @ContraCostaFire & @CCCFirefighters introduces #ProjectPinkWheels to show their community impacted by cancer that they are not alone in their fight. The pink engine will also serve as a rolling memorial to honor cancer survivors & warriors. 🚒💗 #ContraCostaCounty pic.twitter.com/St2CM0rFon— ABC7 Melissa Pixcar (@MelissaABC7) November 7, 2020
"It just made me feel very happy everyone who rides in this truck will know the people who signed it know about it and we're supporting them," said Brown. "I am really grateful for this, that Contra Costa County Fire was doing this for cancer survivors."
"The reason why it was important for me to make this happen was it shows the community that we're here for you," said Leimpeter.
To request Project Pink Wheel, email Fire Captain Chris Liempeter at firstname.lastname@example.org.