When Tulsa firefighter Mark Meyer was diagnosed with cancer in March 2012, he knew he had to do something to help others. When the elevator door opened at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Mark came face to face with a small child. She was bald, a cotton ball taped to the side of her arm, pushing a pole while chemo pumped into her very small body. He knew he wanted to help.
“It’s not fair,” he told his wife, “these children should be out playing but instead they are sick and spending time in the hospital undergoing chemotherapy and other treatments.” While trying to figure out how he could help, Mark was playing with a custom-made piece of jewelry that he wore daily. On the gold chain around his neck is a fire hydrant, symbolic of his chosen profession. He decided to call his charity “Hydrants of Hope” and began designing a custom lapel pin of a fire hydrant with a cancer ribbon in the middle.
Mark met with hospital personnel to find out what he could do to help these children fight cancer. He learned that many of the families were struggling to pay for gasoline to get back and forth to the hospital or to pay for prescriptions. From the sale of T-shirts, lapel pins, key chains, wrist bands, and a golf tournament, along with the support of others, including fellow firefighters, the non-profit charity has raised over $75,000 so far with all money going directly to families in our area with children battling cancer. Mark will be quick to point out that while this was his way of helping, he could not do this without the support of many others who feel the need to help fight for these kids.
This past September, Hydrants of Hope held its second annual golf tournament in Claremore. This week, Mark presented a check for $25,000 to the children’s oncology ward at St. Francis. To date, Hydrants of Hope has donated $100,000 to the fund.
Claremore, be ready to play in next year’s tournament! Or, you can always donate on the Hydrants of Hope website.