Gloria Gemma hosts annual downtown 5k during Breast Cancer Awareness month

Gloria Gemma hosts annual downtown 5k during Breast Cancer Awareness month.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – This weekend kicked off a month wrapped in pink for breast cancer awareness in Providence, and beyond.

The Flames of Hope Waterfire closed streets in parts of downtown Saturday night, followed by the annual Gloria Gemma 5k race also in Providence Sunday.

Eyewitness News observed runners of all ages and walks of life at Sunday’s race, some cancer survivors, others their caretakers and their support system.

A six-year survivor, Donna Pingitore, says her family and Gloria Gemma made all the different for her when she was ill.

“The organization is amazing,” says Pingitore. “They help you through the entire process from the beginning from when you’re diagnosed through the finish, until after. They have so many support groups. They do so many things for you.”

After losing her grandmother to breast cancer a few years ago, Kaitlyn Carr’s step-mother was just diagnosed with the disease last month. She got a group of 50 friends and family members to run in this year’s 5k.

“So when my step-mom was diagnosed it was really difficult for us,” says Carr. “It’s just a time that we all need to be together as a family. Everyone is home for it. My sister came home.”

Carr offered this advice to families facing a new diagnosis.

“Just being with your family, checking in all the time and calling to see how they are. You don’t need to talk about it. Feel free to call, tell them you love them. That’s all that really matters.”

The two-day celebrations included a health expo, the Illuminations of Life Ceremony at Waterfire, and the 5k walk.