NEW BRITAIN - Residents may notice a different look for city firefighters this month.
They’re wearing royal blue T-shirts to honor the memory of Scott Johnson, a firefighter and Coast Guard veteran who died of colorectal cancer last year.
Johnson lost his 28-month battle with cancer in August, leaving behind three children and his wife, Caroline.
Since her husband’s diagnosis and death, Caroline Johnson has committed to raising colorectal cancer awareness and has fought to make early screenings more available to men and women.
Last month, U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy invited her to Washington for President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address. During her trip, Caroline Johnson was given a chance to talk about the dangers of colorectal cancer and her mission.
Since March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month - having been so designated by President Bill Clinton in 2000 - she approached interim Fire Chief Peter Margentino about temporarily altering the department’s uniform to include the official color of colorectal cancer support groups - royal blue.
“We, the fire department family and the Johnson family felt it would be a great way to raise awareness during the month of March,” Firefighter Shane Burns said.
Burns said the idea was modeled on October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, during which people wear pink to show solidarity.
Caroline Johnson invites people to continue supporting efforts to raise awareness and find a cure in the second annual Team Johnson 5K fundraiser on April 22 at Walnut Hill Park.