Vigil held for Toll Gate athlete who passed away


WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — St. Gregory the Great Church was packed Friday night, full of family and friends remembering a Toll Gate High School athlete who passed away after fighting a serious illness.

Gianna Cirella was a junior goalie on the Toll Gate girls soccer team. Her teammates have been rallying around her fight since her diagnosis, wearing her favorite color, purple, and hosting a vigil in her honor during their last game of the season.

According to a Facebook post on the “Gistrong” page, Cirella passed away around 6 p.m. on Wednesday.

“She was just a loyal, compassionate, fun loving, great sense of humor, young woman,” head coach for the girl’s soccer team Lonna Razza said.

Razza said whenever life threw a hurdle at Cirella, she always fought back.

“She gave it all she had, and I don’t think anyone would disagree with me,” Razza said.

The light of hundreds of candles illuminated the church, giving strength to all the lives Cirella touched.

“The community will never forget and you can feel that,” Razza said. “With how they’ve reacted to everything that’s going on. And it’s great to see, I really hope that it stays with them. I know it’s going to stay with me.”

So far, friends and family have raised more than $70,000 for Cirella through a GoFundMe page.

Donate to Cirella Strong »

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