May 11 Gloria Gemma Fashion Show is Occasion for Breast Cancer Survivor to Celebrate

Pawtucket, RI – Ann Nadeau experienced the ultimate, emotional roller coaster ride within a four-month timeframe in 2011. In August of that year, her oldest daughter Cassie broke the news that she had just gotten engaged to be married. A month later, she received the same news from her son Dan. Then in November, Ann received the news that she had breast cancer.

“I was undergoing chemotherapy while my two kids were planning their weddings,” recalls Ann, mother of three. “What a distraction that was!”

While awaiting her appointment for radiation treatment in November 2012, Ann came across a list of events offered by the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation. An evening with psychic card reader Pat Olson sparked Ann’s interest to reach out to the Pawtucket nonprofit.

“I had heard about the Gloria Gemma Foundation, but didn’t really know what they were about,” confessed Ann.

That soon changed, thanks to a pleasant surprise from two of her friends, who embarked on a campaign to raise funds to send Ann to the organization’s Women’s Getaway to Sedona earlier this year in late-February. Organizing raffles and approaching companies, family members, and friends for donations, Ann’s friends accomplished their mission.

Referring to Sedona as a “Stairway to Heaven” because of its serene and aesthetic beauty, the teacher’s assistant at Ponanganset High School added, “I had an amazing time bonding with the other women, learning their stories and experiences, and sharing mine.”

“Our annual trip to Sedona is one of our special and exclusive offerings to survivors,” said Maria Gemma, executive director of the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation. “It’s all about support.”

Gemma added that one in six women in the Ocean State will be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime. The Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation works to promote breast health awareness and education, provide free programs and services, and raise early breast cancer detection levels in all 39 town and cities in Rhode Island, as well as parts of Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Shortly after she returned from her trip from Sedona, Ann received an email from the Foundation inviting her to participate in its upcoming Our Heroes Annual Survivor Fashion Show.

Now in its sixth year, the fashion show takes place on Saturday, May 11 at the Rhodes on the Pawtuxet. Three groups of models will showcase the latest styles provided by some of Rhode Island’s premiere boutiques and clothiers: individuals diagnosed before the age of 40, individuals undergoing treatment, and family members.

Last month, Ann received some more news—only this time, it was good. On Wednesday, April 3, her doctor told her that she had officially completed her radiation treatment.

“Finally done,” she said about the latest news she received.

Ann indicated that she certainly has cause for celebration now and is looking forward to the upcoming fashion show. Cheering her on will be twenty of her closest friends and family members.

In order to be part of that entourage, there’s only one rule, according to Ann. “It’s going to be a girl’s night out for us. No guys are allowed in my group.”

“Our fashion show is not just a charity fundraiser,” said Maria Gemma. “Our event celebrates the unique spirit and beauty of people like Ann who are faced with breast cancer.”

“By the way, we’re really happy that Ann is planning on celebrating, as well,” Maria concluded.

One of the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation’s “Signature Events,” the annual fashion show takes place on Saturday, May 11 at the Rhodes on the Pawtuxet [60 Rhodes Place in Cranston]. Tickets are $45.00 each and a table of ten (10) is $425.00.  For more information, visit our website at or call 401-861-4376.

About the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation

The Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource 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, please call 401-861-HERO (4376) or visit

Leave a comment

Avatar About the Author:

previous arrow
next arrow