Community rallies at 5K to support fight against breast cancer

gloria gemma foundation 5K 2015_215379

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A few thousand people put on their best pink outfits Sunday for the Gloria Gemma 5K in Providence.

The Flames of Hope weekend celebration for the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation kicked off Saturday with the traditional waterfire in the capital city. Sunday’s 5K started downtown in front of the State House.

Participants said they were thankful for nice weather, saying the energy at the event was unique and upbeat.

“It’s really a little overwhelming,” said Alexandria Fontes. “I mean pink is my favorite color.”

Fontes’ cousin, Donna, was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year.

“The breast cancer community really has shown that it’s not just one person who has breast cancer, the whole community is affected and everybody has reached out to her,” Fontes said. “It’s so beautiful and it really has restored our faith in humanity.”

Everyone at the event was wearing pink, including a group of boys from Bishop Hendricken High School. The boys raised $25,000 last year for the Gloria Gemma Foundation, and they hope to raise at least that much this year.

They said their motto is “man up!”

“They man up not just on the 5K but raising money during the month of September and October and we really try to live the mission at Hendricken so I think this is just an extension of that,” said Nancy Rocha, a guidance counselor at BHHS.

They boys were there to support those who are fighting breast cancer, as well as those who have already won their battle.

Brenda-Lee Troia, a nine year survivor of the disease, said she has taken part in the 5K for years.

“I’ve been a part of this now for 10 years. Carried the torch in 2006 which was the very first year,” she said.

Eyewitness News asked her what she has to say to those, like Fontes’ cousin, who are just beginning their journey with a cancer diagnosis. She said to make sure to always keep hope alive.

“There is always hope. Hope is huge, and strength, and you just don’t realize how much strength you have until you’re given that diagnosis,” she said.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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