CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — For the month of October, Corpus Christi firefighters are making great strides in selling their annual t-shirt fundraiser which helps help those in the community who are battling cancer.
Due to the ongoing health crisis, they are not only selling t-shirts but also masks.
Since 2009, the Corpus Christi Cancer Awareness Relief Effort (C.A.R.E.) have done their part to educate the community about cancer. The group will take their pink fire truck to several events and speak to residents about the effects of cancer along with the potentially deadly disease that can affect everyday heroes.
“Normally, in an average year, we’ll sell sometimes up to 10,000 shirts in a year,” said Carlos Torres, president C.A.R.E.
Lester Garza worked for CCFD for 20 years before retiring in 2016. Three months later Garza was diagnosed with prostate cancer. In August 2017, the cancer metastasized to his bones, and Garza was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer.
“Little did I know the firefighters who fight fire, who help everybody that are in your community, who are your friends in the community would come down with cancer," Garza said. "And then even more than that, I would be affected by it."
Garza says selling masks is a new concept for the organization and the support can help those who are fighting the disease.
“It’s going to be our 2020 design for the t-shirts, but we said you know everyone has to wear the mask now," he said. "So, let’s create a mask that the community can wear as well."
Members with Corpus Christi C.A.R.E. say they anticipate selling their masks by the end of the week.
“The money that we raise has helped me out with all my trips to Houston, so if we can help one person and I am one person it’s great," Garza said. "But we try and bring awareness to everybody in the community and we try and help everybody that we can, and that’s what firefighters do."
They will be available at the Corpus Christi Professional Firefighters Association Union Hall, 6014 Ayers St.