Local nurses told they can't wear pink in support of colleague with cancer

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by KMOV.com Staff

KMOV.com

Posted on November 25, 2013 at 6:45 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 26 at 8:14 AM

(KMOV.com) -- A team of nurses at Belleville’s Memorial Hospital wanted to show support this week for their friend and former colleague who’s battling cancer, by wearing pink shirts to work.  To their surprise, the hospital’s leadership team wouldn’t let them.

Tina O’Connor was diagnosed last year with breast cancer and it’s now spreading.  Her illness forced her to quit her job as a nurse in the hospital’s Emergency Department. O’Connor’s co-workers had custom pink shirts made to support her.

“We all just really love each other but I just feel very humbled that they’d take their time to do that for me,” says O’Connor.

But, when nurses asked the Leadership Team at Memorial Hospital if they could wear the shirts this week, they were denied.

The Leadership team gave the following explanation:

 

“We have a Standards of Appearance Policy to ensure a professional appearance among staff.  We have over 2,200 employees and we are sure we have others who are battling illness and as much as we are very sympathetic to each of these concerns, we would be setting a precedent.  We have certainly been very supportive of the staff’s efforts to hold a benefit for this employee.”

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