Soccer team hosts vigil for teammate fighting serious illness


WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — There was an incredible outpouring of support on the field Friday for a Toll Gate High School athlete who is battling a serious illness.

Gianna Cirella is a junior goalie for the Toll Gate girl’s soccer team, and she is at the forefront of her teammate’s minds as she fights for her life at Hasbro Children’s Hospital.

The team invited the community to share their support for Cirella and her battle by wearing purple, which is her favorite color. The team also hosted a candlelit vigil after the game.

Toll Gate High School faced West Greenwich Friday night, and both teams wore purple, which has become a symbol of strength to the Toll Gate community.

Head coach Lonna Razza said the support for Gianna has gone way beyond the soccer field.

“I think we’re going to do another purple day on Wednesday because a lot of the kids at school are buying the shirts now,” Razza said. “So we’re kind of all going to have the same shirt on, on the same day. I think this is going to be an ongoing theme, just to keep showing her that we’re here, we’re supporting her and we got her back.”

Cirella’s sister Cassie is also on the team, and she continues to play in honor of her sister.

The team is selling t-shirts to help raise money for Gianna’s medical treatment. A GoFundMe page was set up to support Gianna and her family throughout her battle. Since the page was created, hundreds of people have raised more than $72,000 for Gianna.

Donate to the Cirella Strong: Medical Fund ยป

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