Losing a loved one was the inspiration behind Brian McMahon acquiring his first, second, and third one, with a lot more to follow.
Today, McMahon has more than 130 Pink Patches in his possession, receiving three in a single day two years ago as a member of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, sparking his desire to keeping the collection going.
From there, he’s made it an all out effort to build his supply.
To show support for breast cancer awareness, during the month of October officers like McMahon often replace their uniform shoulder patches with a specially designed pink patches.
After discovering their importance, McMahon remembered a former girlfriend who passed away at the age of 47 from breast cancer, noting, “It hit me hard, I reunited with her family and donated a patch to them,” he explained, remembering the gratitude they felt through his actions. “They really appreciated it.”
From that point on, it became abundantly clear “it was something I needed to do,” insisted McMahon, among nearly 200 individuals who entered vehicles in the South Pasadena Tournament of Roses Cruz’n for Roses Hot Rod and Classic Car Show recently held along Mission Street in the city.
Not your typical souped up Chevy, Ford, Mercury or Buick, all of which dominated the roadway for the 15th annual show, McMahon parked his huge 1977 MA18 5-ton military tractor, attracting his share of curious bystanders, wondering what the rig was all about. Draped on giant black sheets of cloth were dozens of pink patches representing a multitude of cities taking part in the Pink Patch Project.
The South Pasadena Police Department is among many agencies actively selling the commemorative patches for $10 each through the month of October. Proceeds will go toward funding breast cancer research, treatment and education. In 2018, the South Pasadena Police Department raised more than $4,000 through the sale of pink patches.
“With your support we hope to significantly increase that amount this year,” said SPPD Cpl. Craig Phillips, noting officers will proudly wear the patches on their uniforms. Patches can be purchased at the lobby of the South Pasadena Police Department, 1422 Mission Street, or at various community events in the city.
It was the second straight year that McMahon, a Culver City resident with roots in Pasadena and Altadena, showcased his entry in the local car show.
Another participant, not far from McMahon’s truck, displayed a pink antique gas engine. It featured a pink painted ribbon. After hearing about the man’s story, McMahon, like he often does, found the need to lend some support. “His wife passed away in January of breast cancer and he built a small engine dedicated to her,” he explained, moved by the man’s effort.
Without hesitation, McMahon presented the man with a Pink Patch, showing an act of kindness, genuine warmth and concern. It was something he simply couldn’t pass up doing.
“It’s my way of giving back,” McMahon said quietly.
And remembering those who lost their life to a deadly disease.