Heller & Sons fuels breast cancer battle

<p>Heller & Son's is donating $3 for every delivery made within the next year to a local breast cancer support group. The money will go to assist women diagnosed with breast cancer.</p>

Heller & Sons Distributing is helping to “fuel the fight” against breast cancer, one delivery at a time.

For every delivery of fuel by one fuel truck operated by the Hermiston company, $3 will be given to a local breast cancer support group.

Office manager Becky Slupsky, a breast cancer survivor, expects the company to donate an estimated $4,000 to $5,000 to Sisters Influencing Survivorship, a Hermiston-based support group, next spring. The support group gives financial and emotional support to women diagnosed with breast cancer. Members of the group help those diagnosed make trips to the Tri-Cities area and Walla Walla for doctor visits and plan other support activities.

Patti Barton, secretary of the group and also a breast cancer survivor since 2008, was excited when Slupsky approached the group about the pending donation.

“All the money that we collect stays here in Hermiston for people that need assistance,” Barton said.

Barton said when women from the support group see the diesel truck around town, they honk their horns and wave at the driver.

The truck is painted pink with the words “Fueling the Fight,” sandwiched by two pink ribbons.

Heller & Sons truck driver Dexter Yokom of Hermiston said he doesn't mind the pink, which can also be found on the hood.

“Even truckers wave because they see that pink coming,” Yokom said.  “I think it's a good deal — I've had people come up to me and say they really appreciated it,”

Slupsky and other staff approached management at Heller & Sons with the idea earlier in the year.

“It means a lot to me,” said Slupsky, who has been cancer-free for eight years.

The former Relay For Life participant said it was time to give back.

“It's like time to get back out and help people going through the same thing,” she said.

The diesel truck Heller & Sons truck is one of nine operated by the company. Yokom delivers diesel fuel to Pendleton, the Tri-Cities area and Moses Lake, Wash.

Slupsky estimates the truck makes between 1,300 and 1,400 deliveries each year.

Slupsky will make a formal presentation of the donation project at a meeting at 6:30 p.m. June 18 at Good Shepherd Medical Center.  

The support group meets on the third Monday of the month.

“From the moment you're diagnosed you are a survivor,” Barton said.

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