July 19 blood drive is in memory of Gianna Cirella

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Gianna Cirella was a junior at Toll Gate High School when she passed away this past November. While the 16-year-old goalkeeper lost her fight with sepsis, her family and community are continuing her legacy through a variety of events and fundraisers. On July 19 at the American Legion-William Sheilds #43 will host the Rhode Island Blood Center drive in Gianna’s honor.

Due to Gianna’s intensive complications during her 16-day battle, she required countless blood and platelet transfusions, all given by donors. Her mother, Tara, hopes that by using Gianna’s legacy to bring awareness to this drive it will inspire more donors.

“I hope she brings awareness. Hope she makes people not afraid to donate. I hope this shows how very important it is,” Tara said in a posting on the Blood Center website.

The drive will be held on Thursday, July 19 at 662 West Shore Road in Warwick from 2 to 8 p.m. There will be a free cookout for all presenting blood donors, with food for non-donors being purchased at a small donation of $2. There will also be a variety of raffles, with one hundred percent of the money raised going directly to the Gianna Cirella Memorial Fund.

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