ORANGE ( — Orange City firefighters Tuesday took their hats off and shaved their heads to show support for patients at CHOC Children’s Hospital.

Between 40 and 50 firefighters visited patients at 11 a.m. at the hospital at 1201 W. La Veta Ave.

The fire department was inspired by Orange City firefighter John Voris’ 15-year-old daughter Saylor, who was recently diagnosed with leukemia and is scheduled to undergo a bone marrow transplant.

Some firefighters also donated blood and/or platelets while others passed out honorary badges and hats to children batting cancer and other illnesses and injuries.

“Whenever we can help a sick kid, we’re going to do everything we can,” Orange City Fire Department Chief Pat Dibb said. “It’s in our blood.”

Saylor had the opportunity to shave Chief Dibb herself.

“It really feels like I just have so much support behind me,” Saylor said. “It feels like I don’t have to worry about anything. I know people are there for me, and it’s really a big thing.”

Another part of the afternoon was the donation of blood, in order to help cancer patients.

“Chemotherapy damages the bone marrow, which is sort of where the cancer comes from,” CHOC Clinical Director Dr. Steven Neudor said. “And giving patients blood, red cells and platelets, has become an integral part of being able to give chemotherapy safely and getting these patients through.”



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