State police host photo exhibit for pediatric cancer awareness


SMITHFIELD, R.I. (WPRI) — It’s locally become an iconic image: Dorian Murray sporting boxing gloves and a fierce stare.

On Thursday, that portrait was one of 21 on display at Rhode Island State Police headquarters in Smithfield. Each depicted a boy or girl wearing boxing gloves, signifying their brave fight against pediatric cancer.

Dorian died in March at the age of 8 following a years-long battle with rhabdomyosarcoma. His wish to become famous resulted in an outpouring of support from around the world and he served as a source of inspiration and strength for people from his hometown of Westerly to as far away as China and Australia.

The traveling exhibit known as Project 3.8 aims to raise awareness of pediatric cancer and the lack of funding for research.

“We feel it’s necessary to do because of the national funding,” said Dorian’s mother, Melissa Murray. “On average, only 3.8 percent goes to pediatric cancer research and as far as i’m concerned that’s just not enough.”

Thursday was the third time the gallery was on display. About 600 people attended the first two events, according to Murray.

“Dorian wanted to help his friends that were in clinic,” she said. “He wanted to sell his toys so that we could give money back to his clinic and so it just felt right for me after he passed to continue doing that for him.”

“I really want people to be inspired and recognize that if you walk by most of the children in this show on the street, you’d never know they had cancer,” said Robyn Ivy, who took the photos. “That’s really an important part to address, the invisibility of these children and their families.”

The next stop for the gallery is at the Izzy Foundation Gala in Providence on Oct. 1. The shows are open to all ages with a suggested $10 donation. All proceeds will go towards the Dorian J. Murray Foundation.

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