12:01 PM

It's a Pink Christmas

Pink Heals spread holiday cheer and hope at OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony Medical Center

Pink Heals at SAMC

The color alone helped brighten the day for those inside the Patricia D. Pepe Center for Cancer Care at OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony Medical Center. But aside from wearing pink, these ambassadors also definitely put patients' emotions in the pink.

They are Winnebago County members of Pink Heals, a national organization aimed at supporting cancer patients - a "movement for the people, by the people" - as chapter spokesman Chad Hargraves describes it.

"It's letting people know that they're loved, they're not alone in this battle, that journey," says Chad Hargraves, of Pink Heals Winnebago. "And there's hope."


Chad Hargraves on Pink Heals mission

The Pink Heals contingent visited more than a dozen patients and presented each with gift cards. But what proved most valuable was the well wishes and their promise of continued support.

"As long as we lift their spirits for a day, a week, a month, a year - it doesn't matter," says Chad Hargraves, of Pink Heals Winnebago. "As long we're helping let them know that they're loved and supported, it doesn't matter. We're there for them."

Chad Hargraves on why Pink Heals matters

Hargraves joined the group about five years ago, when his wife was battling cancer. He says he needed a place to turn to, heal and learn how he could help others.  

"Cancer hates being positive," says Chad Hargraves, of Pink Heals Winnebago. "So, when I talk to people I just want them to know - 'stay positive'. And, you know what, we're here to love you and support you and we definitely will be there for you."

Chad Hargraves philosophy on cancer

Pink Heals relies on fundraisers and donations to maintain their cancer crusade. You can learn more by visiting www.pinkhealswinnebago.org.

Pink Heals at SAMC b-roll