WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Nearly two years after her death, the Toll Gate High School community is continuing to keep the memory of Gianna Cirella alive.
Cirella, 16, was a junior at Toll Gate when she died of sepsis back in 2017. She was also a goalie on the girl’s soccer team.
On Thursday, the boys soccer team wore purple jerseys – Cirella’s favorite color – in an effort to promote sepsis awareness.
The jerseys each had #GStrong printed on the back.
“It shows a sense of pride,” May Lodge said. “It also shows a lot about who Gianna was and her character.”
Lodge is a family friend of the Cirella’s and said while they could not attend Thursday night’s game, they were very appreciative of the support.
The jerseys were created by Caden Haley, one of the team’s captains. His mother Chris Haley tells Eyewitness News her son was friends with Cirella and wanted to find a way to honor her memory.
“He and one of the other captains on the team designed the jersey,” Chris Haley said. “The teams have really come together to show their support and ensure that she would never be forgotten.”
Lodge said seeing the boys soccer team wearing purple shows what Cirella meant to all of them.
“She was a very good friend,” Lodge said. “They just want to support [Cirella’s family].”
The Gianna Cirella Memorial Fund continues to raise money for sepsis research, scholarships and more. Anyone who would like to learn more or donate can click here.