When the Pink Heals fire truck came to Vinton from Sauk Valley, Illinois, last year, Diana Bramow was the very first Vinton person to sign it.

Dennis Bramow helped organize the October 2017 visit in honor of Diana, who is a cancer survivor.

Now, the Bramows are leading the effort to help encourage and inspire other survivors of cancer and other illnesses by starting Iowa’s first Pink Heals Chapter.

Pink Heals Eastern Iowa is officially established. The pink fire truck is now complete. Last month, the Bramows went to Rhode Island, where the Providence Pink Heals chapter donated a pink police car.

The vehicles will be available at special events and tours for people to sign. Those fighting a disease can sign their own names; people can also leave messages of encouragement for those fighting illness or memorials to those who have died.

The pink police car was on display at the annual Brandon celebration last weekend, and will be in Garrison this Saturday. The pink truck will appear at Boomfest on Aug. 25. The weekend of Aug. 17-18, the Bramows will take the truck to Marion Fire Station No. 2 for a dedication at with the department who donated the truck, and also participate in a farmers market in downtown Cedar Rapids. October events in Iowa City are also on the schedule.

Pink Heals vehicles typically have names representing a woman who has faced illness. The pink police car in Vinton bears the name Anna, in honor of a woman who worked for the city of Johnston, R.I., before losing her battle with cancer.

After receiving the truck from the Marion Fire Department, the Bramows took it to Thompson’s Truck and Trailer in Cedar Rapids, where the crews there painted it pink. Vinton firefighter Damien Fairbanks put the decals on it.

The project will rely on volunteers to drive the vehicles to various locations and help people sign autographs, says Dennis Bramow. As a non-profit organization, Pink Heals Eastern Iowa will also rely on donations to cover the expense of vehicle maintenance and fuel.

As the only Pink Heals organization in Iowa currently, the vehicles are likely to visit virtually all of the state, say Bramow.

For those who are too sick to come to the truck, Pink Heals volunteers will gladly drive the vehicles to the homes of those fighting illness, and escort those patients to the truck to help them sign it. During last October’s visit from the Sauk Valley truck, several families watched the truck come to their residence.

See the Pink Heals Eastern Iowa Facebook page HERE.