Higgins, Cavanagh & Cooney, LLP proudly sponsored a successful blood drive at the law firm’s Providence offices on March 5th in memory of the late Gianna Cirella of Warwick who faced a challenge too great to fight.

The blood drive was held in conjunction with the Rhode Island Blood Center. The firm’s lawyers, staff and even community members participated. Conference rooms throughout the law firm were transformed into temporary medical facilities.

Thirty-one donors rolled up their sleeves that day in honor of Gianna’s memory. Eleven persons donated for the very first time. Thanks to one and all for participating.

On November 1, 2017, Gianna passed away peacefully surrounded by her family. “Not every story has a happy ending,” said her mother, Tara Cirella, adding “but everyone deserves the fighting chance that blood donors give them.”

Tara Cirella, Gianna’s mother, is a longstanding and highly regarded HCC staff member. She is the firm’s billing and accounts receivable coordinator.

Within days of developing a sore throat, Gianna developed pneumonia and sepsis, a life-threatening infection in her blood. During the 16-day fight for her life, she needed 174 blood, platelet and plasma transfusions, which came from Rhode Island Blood Center donors.

“Gianna would not have survived one day without blood. I hope she brings awareness and action. I hope she makes people not afraid to donate. I hope she shows how very important it is to give blood,” Tara Cirella said.

For more information about the Gina Cirella Memorial Fund, visit www.gistrong.org.

(HCC attorney Brian W. Haynes, pictured above, participates in the firm’s blood drive.)