Firefighters surprise 10-year-old girl battling leukemia in Savanna

Firefighters surprised Emilee Derrer, 10, outside her house last Sunday.
Firefighters surprised Emilee Derrer, 10, outside her house last Sunday.(KWQC)
Published: Mar. 8, 2020 at 7:16 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

Firefighters surprised a 10-year-old girl battling leukemia outside her Savanna home last Sunday.

The surprise is all a part of

a national organization where firefighters volunteer to help bring joy to people struggling with illnesses.

Firefighters from Savanna, Mt. Carroll, Thompson and Rock Falls lined up outside Emilee Derrer’s home with 23 emergency response vehicles.

“The goal of Pink Heals is to spread love and give hope to women, children and even men that are struggling with illnesses like cancer,” said Brian Tribley, Pink Heals Sauk Valley Chapter President and Rock Falls Firefighter.

Firefighters gave Emilee a hug one by one, including her father Eric Derrer, who is Captain of the Mt. Carroll Fire Department.

“It was pretty incredible,” Eric said.

Emilee’s mother, Erin Foster, is also an EMT for Savanna.

“We are a big EMS and fire family,” Erin said.

Firefighters walked Emilee to the pink fire trucks where she signed her name and gifted her with a helmet that had dozens of signatures from family and emergency responders.

Emilee said the surprise helped her realize how many people are supporting her during this difficult time.

The Pink Heals surprises also inspire firefighters each time they do visits.

“I always tell people it’s hard to give words and describe how you feel after a visit,” Tribley said. “You’re like on cloud nine. That’s the way all of our volunteers feel after a beautiful visit like that.”

Pink Heals is growing chapters across the nation. The closest chapter is located in

Volunteers from that chapter travel as far as Minnesota to spread hope amongst several communities.