WEST BLOOMFIELD, Mich. (WXYZ) - A West Bloomfield firefighter spent 20 years rescuing others, but she is now being helped by her own colleagues.
Kathy McCormick was diagnosed with breast cancer twice in two years. Doctors initially caught the disease with a routine mammogram. The second time it was diagnosed in "stage 4."
"I've been in fires and I've been on all kinds of medicals and everything, but this has been the toughest battle of my life," McCormick told 7 Action News.
The second battle with the disease was tougher, both emotionally and physically, on McCormick. That's why her colleagues wanted to find a way to support her.
For the month of October, during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, West Bloomfield Township Firefighters will wear pink uniform shirts and ride in emergency vehicles that have a pink ribbon decal. The ribbons have the number "64" on them in honor of McCormick's badge number.
"Her spirits were a little bit down," said Fire Marshal Pat Riney. "When we rolled this project out, it really lifted her spirits and that's really what it was intended to do."
McCormick, who is now in remission, can no longer go out on emergency runs. Instead she wants to send a message to other women about how they can save their own lives.
"I thought I was healthy. I thought I was in good shape" said McCormick. "I thought I had no reason to have a mammogram, so I encourage all women not just to do your self-checks, but to do your routine mammograms. I'm alive today because of it."