Pretty - and tough as nails - in pink

It's not every day that you'll see a big, macho firefighter climb aboard a ladder truck dressed from head to toe in pink. But Marshall Moneymaker said it suits him just fine.

"Real men wear pink," he said.

To understand how Moneymaker became so sure of that, you have to go back a couple of years.

In 2008, his oldest sister Vicky died of breast cancer. Then last year, the disease claimed his sisters Valessa and Penny. He lost three sisters to cancer in two years.

"I didn't realize I was broken," he said. "I'd come to work every day and be in my own little shell."

He said he'd eat alone or flash a bad temper and even missed a shift in his Bethesda fire house. That lasted until the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Walk used the fire house as a pit stop. At that moment, Moneymaker became an advocate. He even has a web site in his sisters' honor.

On Tuesday, in support of his efforts, a company that sells equipment to the fire department presented Moneymaker with the ultimate attention getter - an XL-size firefighter jacket, pants and helmet all in pink.

He won't wear it on fire calls but he'll take all the attention he can get to spread the word: Get checked. Get checked early. Get checked often.

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