First responders in pink gear surprise girl, 10, diagnosed with leukemia

Emilee Derrer, whose father is a fire captain and whose mother is an EMT, received a ‘Pink Heals’ surprise celebration at her home


By Laura French

SAVANNA, Ill. — A 10-year-old from Illinois who was diagnosed with leukemia received a surprise visit from local first responders dressed in pink gear to show their support.

Emilee Derrer, whose father is a fire captain and whose mother is an EMT, stepped outside to find a colorful celebration including a pink ambulance and fire truck, and dozens of firefighters and EMS providers lined up to give her a hug, according to KWQC.

Emilee Derrer, 10, received a surprise visit by dozens of first responders, some dressed in pink gear, to show their support after she was diagnosed with leukemia. Emilee's father is a Mt. Carroll Fire Department captain and her mother is an EMT in Savanna. (Photo/Mount Carroll Fire Department Facebook)
Emilee Derrer, 10, received a surprise visit by dozens of first responders, some dressed in pink gear, to show their support after she was diagnosed with leukemia. Emilee's father is a Mt. Carroll Fire Department captain and her mother is an EMT in Savanna. (Photo/Mount Carroll Fire Department Facebook)

Emilee’s father, Mt. Carroll Fire Department Capt. Eric Derrer, told KWQC that the event was “pretty incredible” and was overcome with emotion as he hugged his daughter.

The event was organized by the Pink Heals Sauk Valley Chapter with the help of Chapter President Brian Tribley, who is also a firefighter.

A total of 23 emergency vehicles participated in the surprise celebration, and Emilee was given a pink fire helmet with signatures of family members and first responders as a gift.

“We are a big EMS and fire family,” Emilee’s mother, Savanna EMT Erin Foster, told KWQC.

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