Pour the Town Pink: How a cement truck is helping save lives in Stamford
A cement truck in Stamford is helping to save lives through its “Pour the Town Pink” campaign.
Cavaliere Industries is a family business that began over 60 years ago.
“We're a Stamford-based construction company my father and his brother and brother-in-law started. We're second-generation kids in it,” said DJ Cavaliere.
DJ and his brother Lou Cavaliere also run Short Load Concrete, a subsidiary of the company that began about eight years ago. It began with two trucks. One was gray, the other an atypical color for a cement mixer.
“It just happened to be a purple truck, and it just seemed to draw a lot of attention,” DJ explained.
So, when it came time to add another mixer to the fleet, “My brother and I discussed it and we're like, ‘We're definitely doing this next truck a real one-off color,” DJ told News 12.
The decision for the Cavaliere brothers was an easy one—pink to promote breast cancer awareness.
“We decided to dedicate it basically to my sister,” DJ said.
Maria Cavaliere-Lovello was diagnosed in 2015.
“I had just had my arms crossed one day and felt something in my breast,” Maria shared with News 12.
Maria had a lumpectomy followed by 36 radiation treatments and five years of medication. She's been cancer-free since.
“They said, ‘We're going to do a breast cancer truck in your honor,’ and so I was blown away,” she recalled.
The plan was for the truck to be a rolling billboard for breast cancer awareness.
“And then, you know, thinking, we're like, ‘Maybe we could do something more,’” DJ said.
So the Cavaliere brothers decided to turn the truck into a fundraiser for Stamford Health's "Paint the Town Pink" campaign and raise money for patients and programs at Bennett Cancer Center. That's where Maria was treated.
Maria couldn’t believe it. “Like, holy cow, really?”
Short Load Concrete has been selling pink ribbons for the truck's barrel. Each one represents a different donation and story of someone affected by breast cancer.
“People can say, ‘Hey, my name is on that truck,’ or ‘My mom's name is on that truck.’ It's really beautiful,” Maria told News 12.
In February, the project became even more personal. Their mother, 82-year-old Lois Cavaliere, was diagnosed just as the truck was done being painted.
“I was taking a shower and suddenly I feel this lump,” Lois recalled.
“It is scary. You're nervous, you know? This is your mother,” DJ said.
Lois immediately began chemotherapy, also at Stamford Health like her daughter.
“It didn't go well because I got very sick. I ended up in the hospital probably four or five times and had multiple blood transfusions,” Lois recalled. “I can't say enough about the Stamford Hospital staff. They have been so supportive and so kind.”
Doctors decided Lois needed a mastectomy
“They ended up taking out a cancer tumor, which was as big as a softball,” she said.
Next up for Lois will be radiation.
“She's a fighter, and we're not going to put up with anything less than survival, so we're looking forward to her getting that word—that she's in remission also,” Maria stated.
“Maria has been my right hand, and my sister has been my left hand,” Lois told News 12, getting emotional. “Without the two of them, I don't know what I would have done.”
The truck has become more meaningful than the Cavalieres ever expected. They stress that it's not just about their family but the whole community.
“It's for everybody else's mother and sister and aunt and cousin and daughter. That's where it goes. And it goes to those people that can't afford the proper care, so it's an uplifting experience,” DJ said.