Gloria Gemma Foundation Hope Bus to Visit CCRI Wellness Fair

March 26, 2012 [Pawtucket] The Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation’s 38-foot pink recreational vehicle, known as The Hope Bus, travels to Warwick this Wednesday March 28, 2012 to participate in the seventh annual Community College of Rhode Island Wellness Fair.

One of forty displays included in the Wellness Fair this year, the Gloria Gemma Hope Bus raises awareness of breast cancer and its staff can answer questions or connect visitors with necessary resources. “Through our Hope Bus program, we are able to bring our programs and services into each community and we are grateful for the opportunity to educate the students, faculty and staf at CCRI’s Warwick Campus,” said Gloria Gemma Foundation Executive Director Maria Gemma.

She added, “This year, we’re thrilled to contribute to the event’s ongoing success by presenting Zentangle, a unique healing arts workshop, on our Hope Bus.”

 

The workshop to which Gemma refers is Zentangle, hosted by Mary Jane Bohlen, a local artist and two-time breast cancer survivor. Bohlen introduced this therapeutic, meditative method of drawing to The Gloria Gemma Foundation in 2009, after moving to Rhode Island from Virginia.

“I first found out about it four years ago after I had my second mastectomy,” said Bohlen. “I ordered this Zentangle kit and it was a godsend. It’s very portable and I was able to create these beautiful images and patterns one line at a time.”  She added, “It took my mind totally away from everything. It just took me away.”  Certified to teach Zentangle in October of 2009, shortly after becoming involved with The Gloria Gemma Foundation, Bohlen sees volunteering on The Hope Bus as a way to give back.

“The Gloria Gemma Foundation is the most wonderful organization I’ve ever come into contact with,” said Bohlen. “They provide necessary resources for women with breast cancer to have good lives.”  She is also happy to speak with visitors about her own journey with the disease.

 

Bohlen now teaches Zentangle to people of all ages—even preschoolers—and says it can be very useful in coping with symptoms associated with cancer treatment as well as Attention Deficit Disorder, insomnia and post-traumatic stress.

The Hope Bus will be the first exhibition included in the CCRI Wellness Fair to take place outside of the student dining commons area, away from the other exhibitors. “We’re really looking forward to it,” said CCRI Wellness Committee Chair Mary Baker. “We’ll certainly be encouraging people to visit The Hope Bus on Wednesday. We’ll have signage and I’ll be announcing it regularly during the event.”

The CCRI Wellness Fair will be held Wednesday March 28, 2012 from 9:00 AM until 2:00 PM at the Knight Campus, 400 East Avenue in Warwick. The event is free, open to the public and sponsored by the CCRI Wellness Committee, whose mission is to provide access to information and services on leading health issues. For more information, visit www.ccri.edu/wellness.

About the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation

The Gloria Gemma Foundation was established in 2004 in loving memory of Gloria J. Gemma and to honor her courageous fight against breast cancer.  The organization’s mission is to raise breast cancer awareness; increase breast health education; enhance the quality of life for breast cancer patients, as well as their families and friends; and generate funding for local breast health programs. For more information, call 401-861-HOPE (4376) or visit www.gloriagemma.org.

About the Hope Bus

The Hope Bus was acquired with a generous donation from The Halkyard Family Fund. With additional support from The Rhode Island Foundation, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island and The Amgen Foundation. The special outreach program utilizing The Hope Bus was initiated in April 2011.

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