SYRACUSE, N.Y. — October is known as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
It's a special month for a DeWitt man who makes an effort every day to fund research for all cancers in general.
"There's a lot of kind people in Central New York that have made me what I am," said Laurence Segal of DeWitt.
Some people wake up each day and ask themselves how they can better serve others.
Laurence Segal is one of those people.
He makes about a dozen stops at businesses daily, collecting cans left in designated pink bins in the Syracuse area. It's an effort he started more than a decade ago as he exchanges cans and bottles for cash in order to fund cancer research.
"When I see bottles and cans on the side of the road, or in a trash can, or I go up and down the Thruway or 481 or 690, I think to myself, that's money that can help out a cancer patient," said Segal.
Laurence has seen many of his loved ones battle cancer over the years, including his own mother.
After college at Ithaca, he moved west where he worked on the Price is Right and met his best friend Rod Roddy. Rod would lose a battle with cancer in 2003.
"When I had to bury Rod, I watched what he went through, I vowed, that I would never let cancer patients feel alone, I'd make sure they got the blood that they needed, and it began what is now 'Laurence Segal's Cans for Cancer,'" Segal said.
Known as the "Can Man," Laurence estimates he's collected more than 50 million cans for cancer research over the years.
"You'll never find a more caring, compassionate, generous, and kind man as you have in Laurence," said Upstate Medical University Police Chief D. Paul Waltz.
Although the pandemic has slowed his efforts a bit, he manages to keep going. He has pink bins at dozens of areas businesses, including Express Bottle Return on Erie Boulevard in Syracuse.
"You can bring them here like we just did seven days a week, you can say I'd like these donated for Cans for Cancer for Chief Waltz and Laurence. Use the word cancer and they'll know or put them in our pink bin. And, every can people bring down is six cents for cancer research," said Segal.
He's not planning to stop his effort to help cancer patients anytime soon and he's thankful for our efforts, as well.
You can find a designated pink bin located at Express Bottle Return which is located at 2312 Erie Boulevard in Syracuse. Laurence said all money raised from the cans goes to the American Cancer Society for cancer research.