Glastonbury EMTs show support for breast cancer research - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Glastonbury EMTs show support for breast cancer research

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(WFSB photo) (WFSB photo)

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is taking on special meaning in Glastonbury this year.

The town's EMTs are showing their support as the disease hit home for one long-time employee.

John Ryan and his fellow EMTs have two missions this month. One is saving lives.

The other, he said, is supporting breast cancer research.

"This is the way we show support, solidarity," he told Eyewitness News.

They've been doing it through pink shirts and ribbons painting on the sides of their ambulance.

John Ryan said it all means a lot to him.

"I know that it hits you hard, it hits you fast and you don't realize it when it happens," he said. "I still worry about it every day."

Nearly 10 years ago, John Ryan's wife Beverly was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer.

"It was really a hard road for me, especially the chemo," Beverly Ryan said. "I was sick all the time. The surgeries and the surgeries and the surgeries."

Beverly Ryan said the worst part was telling their two children, who were ages 17 and 21 at the time.

After four months of chemotherapy, and an eventual double mastectomy, she was cancer free.

That didn't stop John Ryan from worrying.

"Every little cough, quirk, funny sound she makes, ache, pain, it's like, 'is this something back? Is it again?'" he said.

He said it helped knowing his fellow EMTs have had his back.

They've been collecting donations for the Connecticut Breast Cancer Initiative.

The most important part for John Ryan is spreading awareness.

He said he hops the pink uniform will be a comfort to patients.

"I know i'm not a doctor, I know I'm not a research scientist, I know i'm not going to cure cancer. I know that," John Ryan said. "But at least it gives me the ability to relate to somebody who may be going through it."

Most importantly, they've been a comfort ti his wife of 36 years.

"It's so nice to see people supporting it," Beverly Ryan said. "It's very important to me, and it's very important to my family."

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