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Palmyra man grows pink pumpkins to help fight breast cancer

October is breast cancer awareness month and one Mainer is getting a head start by raising money for the disease in a unique way.

PALMYRA, Maine — What's pink, edible, and grown to help support breast cancer research? That would be Porcelain Doll pumpkins.  

Pat White has been growing the pink pumpkins for five years behind his propane business in Palmyra. 

"It makes you feel good helping somebody," he told NEWS CENTER Maine.

White sells his pumpkins for $5 each and donates all the funds raised to the Champion the Cure Challenge. The money will go towards cancer treatment and research at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center.

"I don't have cancer," explained White. "I saw pink pumpkin seeds in the catalog one year and I was curious if they could grow [in Maine]." 

That's when White went to his friend Jo-Ann Brown with an idea after noticing she had breast cancer license plates.

“[The plates are] for my sister that passed away from breast cancer," Brown shared. "Pat came to me and said, 'I want to grow pink pumpkins and sell them. Will you put the money somewhere?’ I said sure.”

Losing a sister to breast cancer isn't Brown's only experience with the disease. Her dad died of bone cancer and three of her siblings are cancer survivors. 

White said he has raised around $8,000 from selling his pink pumpkins in the last four years. He said he has donated all of it towards cancer research. 

“With two people in my family with breast cancer, it just really touches my heart,” Brown said.

Folks can get some pink pumpkins of their own on Saturday, Sept. 25, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 1178 Main St. in Palmyra.


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