Sophomore Gigi Picciolini’s Cancer Inspired Her To Make An Ongoing Impact
For Providence Catholic sophomore Gigi Picciolini, giving back happens year-round.
Gigi is a five-year brain cancer survivor who is paying it forward. Gigi was diagnosed with Medulloblastoma, the most-common malignant brain cancer in kids, when she was 10 years old. She has made it her life’s purpose to help other kids who have been affected by brain cancers.
“I started fundraising because of my personal experience going through treatment,” says Gigi. “I want to give back and support other kids who are going through this.”
Knowing what others are going through makes this mission even more meaningful. Over time, she has come up with different ideas and fundraisers, like donating supplies to Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago for the play room – a place that helped her take her mind off being in the hospital. She also donates fidget toys for the kids there.
“My first fundraiser was for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. I raised money to help them hopefully find more and better ways to treat pediatric brain cancer,” she says. “Right now, there are not very many options for treating kids, and the funding for research regarding pediatric brain cancer is very low.”
Gigi is currently fundraising for a child her age, who is going through brain cancer and has been fighting for over five years. She started a GoFundMe for his medical care, and she also put her skills into action to raise additional funds.
“I started an Etsy shop selling homemade bracelets, necklaces and rings,” she says. “We also did a craft show selling these products and other crafts to raise money for him. We have raised a good deal for him, and hope to do more so he is able to have better access to get medical care. This is important to me. I want other kids who are going through what I have to have the same opportunities I had to get a chance to live a full life.”
Gigi hopes to help as many people as she can, and connect with others to help them with their journey. Her family plays a big role in helping her fundraise.
“As time progresses, I want to help as many people and do as much as I can to contribute to pediatric brain cancer patients finding better treatments. My future goal is to become a pediatric oncology nurse and work with kids who are going through cancer treatments. Someday, we hope to start a foundation which will have a larger reach and greater impact,” she says.