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The Suburbanite
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  • Jackson FD goes pink for breast cancer awareness

  • When the wife of a Jackson Township firefighter was diagnosed with breast cancer, the entire department stepped up to show support.
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  • For many, firefighters and paramedics are the picture of bravery as they save lives daily.
    One Jackson Township firefighter/paramedic has a different view of bravery.
    Capt. Michael Crable has watched his wife Vicki battle breast cancer for the past year. He's seen her strength shine through in difficult times and watched as she faced some of her biggest fears.
    He thinks she is the picture of bravery.
    "When you watch someone go through all of the surgeries and treatments," Michael said, "you quickly learn what true bravery really is."
    His fellow firefighters have learned that, too.
    This month, the Jackson Township firefighters/paramedics wore specially designed pink T-shirts during their shifts in an effort to help the Crables get the message out about supporting Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
    Michael said that Chief Hogue is supportive of the message and gave his approval for the idea.
    Vicki designed the T-shirt with her cousin, Amanda Hexamer, using the pink ribbon as the central image. They wrapped the ribbon up with the firefighter Maltese cross used in the firefighter's logo and added the phrase "Hope, Support, Strength and Courage for a cure."
    Michael said the International Firefighter's union passed a resolution to support the Susan G. Komen organization and started a pink T-shirt contest among its members.
    The union also makes a donation to Susan G. Komen.
    The Crables hope that all of the efforts bring awareness to the need for continued cancer research. They also want to stress that early detection is vital to winning the battle.
    "Vicki was only 44 years old when she diagnosed a year ago," Michael said. "We want to stress that she caught it early."
    Vicki is currently in remission.
    Vicki also wants to stress how important it is for younger women to get tested.
    "It's no longer the case that only women with a family history of breast cancer are at risk," Vicki said. "It's important for younger women to also get mammograms and to be consistent with that testing."