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Breast Cancer Survivor Helps Inspire Pink Tractor Tires

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DES MOINES, Iowa- A Des Moines tire manufacturer has produced rubber tractor tires made of pink rubber. Titan Tire Company on East Market in Des Moines rolled out a set of pink tractor tires which were produced inside the plant there.

The tires will be used for a Breast Cancer Awareness hay ride, on October 24th and 25th in Water Works Park in Des Moines. The rides run 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Funds raised will be donated to the fight against Breast Cancer.

The idea was tossed around by Titan’s engineering team. It began to come into focus when engineer Marty Morrow was attending the Iowa State Fair with his wife, Kathleen, a breast cancer survivor.

“Went to the Fair and Marty was showing me some tires that had been redone by the FFA students, they were pink,” said Kathleen. “At that time he told me there was a possibly, they were going to design pink one, I said that would be really cool.”

The team came together to see if a pink tire would work. The company had manufactured white tires before, so when it comes to pink, it’s just a matter of adding in some color. Most tires are black due to the carbon black that is used to make the rubber.

“For us it was just a different permutation in the formula to come up with pink,” said Scott Sloan who is the Ag Product Manager for Titan Tire. “You don’t run pink rubber every day, so when it hit the floor, it was all hands on deck.”

Sloan said all types of people at Titan got involved from engineers, to plant workers, to maintenance people. But it wasn’t easy. “If you would have asked me at 1:30 on Monday afternoon, the answer would have been no, because we were running into some snags.”

“I would have never guessed that there would be this much positive response for just a project that seemed like another technical project,” said Sloan. “There’s a bit of an innovation here for us to be able to do something, that’s not only helps a cause, it kind of shows off our capabilities here at Titan.”

The hay ride will be a celebration of sorts for Kathleen Morrow. It was four years ago this month she recovered from breast cancer.

“I’ve been cancer free for four years as of the 24th of October,” said Morrow. “We have such support here in Des Moines, I went through the John Stoddard Cancer Center, but there cancer centers taking care of people.”

Scott Sloan said for now they have only produced these prototype production tires. They are made to be used on the road for tractor rides. WHO Radio’s Big Show has been asking for a tire for tractor rides. The pink tires have the WHO Radio Big Show logo, and the Breast Cancer loco, with Kathleen Morrow’s initials.

Sloan said Titan Tire also produces the rims for the tractors. Those are at another plant, and they are pink. He said the tires may eventually be produced for people who want to “pink-out” their tractor.