HEBER SPRINGS, Ark.— October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and the city of Heber Springs is thinking outside the box to encourage women to get screened.
This week, the city’s water department painted the fire hydrant off Main Street bright pink.
“It’s started a big conversation in Heber Springs,” said the General Manager of Heber Springs Water Facility, Paul Graham.
Graham says he hopes the newly painted hydrant will encourage women to go see their doctors and those who are already battling breast cancer, to keep fighting.
“It’s an odd showing of support, but I think it shows them the town is thinking about them… even at the water department,” said Graham.
According to the American Cancer Society, by the end of 2021, nearly 2500 women in Arkansas will be told they have breast cancer.
“It would have been a death sentence if I hadn’t had a mammogram and they caught it when they did,” said Marylyn Barton.
Barton was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014. She says it means a lot to see the city rally around other survivors.
“That is what community is for,” said Barton.
Barton, along with other community members, wrote the names of women who didn’t survive cancer on the fire hydrant, along with encouraging messages for those still fighting.
“If one person goes and gets checked out and gets a mammogram and finds out they do or do not have it– then that’s one life this hydrant has saved,” said Graham.
Graham says they plan on painting the fire hydrant blue next September for prostate cancer awareness month.
For now, they’re challenging other cities around Arkansas to paint their fire hydrants pink and post it to social media using #pinkhydrantchallenge