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Tallahassee community working to repair Pink Heals fire truck

Posted at 7:05 AM, Jan 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-31 15:03:00-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — A truck meant to help heal cancer survivors now needs some help healing itself.

The Pink Heals Project here in Tallahassee isn't just a regular firetruck.

It's meant to raise awareness and leave memories for those struggling through loss. However, one of the trucks has since been destroyed in a fire.

The Pink Heals Project helped provide a pink firetruck to the Gandy Family after 18-year-old Ariel Gandy. But just a few weeks ago, the truck went up in flames, burning away memories of its services.

Sarah Cooksey says she's ready to fight back.

"We've helped so many people in the community," said Sarah Cooksey, the president of Pink Heals Tallahassee.

Sarah Cooksey is a Tallahassee firefighter and leads Pink Heals Tallahassee.

She says she's heartbroken because the fire burned more than just the truck. It also destroyed memories of those who've seen it, and signed it.

"You kind of forget how many people that you had an impact on and how many signatures I had people message me and say my sister signed that truck and she's no longer here," said Cooksey.

The truck known as Ariel was named after an 18-year-old girl who died from liver cancer in July 2012. It's since been parked outside the teen's father's business Universal Collision Center.

Some like Debra Fullbright say the organization has helped them through some dark times.

"Her organization and herself were there for me. I was able to relax and let the treatments that I was receiving work properly and be able to heal properly," said Debra Fullbright,a cancer survivor.

Fullbright is in remission from her battle with squamous cell carcinoma. She is now using her strength to help fix up Ariel.

"I don't think it's gonna be too bad, but it does take some time to get it back on the road and safe," said Jason Lacy.

Sarah's boyfriend Jason Lacy, spent hours restoring the truck.

After seeing the damages he's prepared to do it again. But he needs help.

"We've been mainly doing the maintenance out of our pocket -- it would help big time with some support. But as quickly as we can get it back, she'll be happy and the people that need the truck will be able to use it," said Lacy.

"We're gonna come back and it's gonna be better than ever. I hope he understands that he has a community around him -- that just absolutely loves his dedication and the memorial he gave to help everyone else around here," said Debra Fullbright, another cancer survivor.

Cooksey also said that they are also taking corporate donations and are willing to advertise for them.

Pink Heals says when they reach enough money to repair the truck, the rest of the funds will be donated to the Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare Cancer Treatment facility.

Checks can be made payable to Pink Heals Tallahassee Chapter with "Ariel Rebuild Fund" in subject line and the account is registered at Regions Bank.

The investigation on who or what caused the fire is still ongoing.

If you know anything that could help investigators call the Tallahassee Fire Department at (850) 891-6600.