Local cancer survivor is driving force behind ‘Ribbon of Hope’ campaign

Local cancer survivor is driving force behind ‘Ribbon of Hope’ campaign

Event this Saturday to help the push toward sale of 900 license plates

SMITHFIELD – Smithfield resident and breast cancer survivor Joelle Fournier is on a mission.

In October of last year, Rhode Island lawmakers approved the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation’s new Ribbon of Hope license plate. Before the plates can be produced, state law requires the sale of at least 900 sets of plates.

Getting those plates sold is at the top of Fournier’s to-do list.

She’s a seven-year survivor. Fournier said she had bilateral prophylactic mastectomies due to her family history of breast cancer – her mother, both grandmothers, and an aunt all had breast cancer. Despite the surgery, she was diagnosed with a 2-cm. undetectable tumor when the pathology report came back from the surgery.

“Had we not done what we did, my prognosis would have been much worse. I was very lucky,” she said. “I am blessed with an amazing husband and two wonderful children who also had to deal with the diagnosis.”

Fournier said that her aunt was the driving force behind the Maine breast cancer license plate and she wanted a breast cancer plate for Rhode Island with the proceeds to go to the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource foundation.

“We have been working on it since 2008, and with the help of many wonderful people, the plate was passed by the House and Senate in September 2012,” she said. “We have been selling the plates since October and are almost halfway to the mandatory 900 orders to place the order with the DMV.”

The new license plate costs $41.50 and it features the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation’s trademarked pink ribbon with the word “HOPE” on the side.

Fournier said $21.50 will go toward the cost of making the plate and $20 will go directly to the Rhode Island Department of Health’s Women’s Cancer Screening Program. The proceeds will be funding mammograms and clinical breast exams for uninsured and underinsured women between the ages of 40 and 49.

Fournier, who now works for Arthur Lambi & Associates in Cumberland, has enlisted the help of her former employer, Brewed Awakenings.

There will be promotional events on Saturday, April 27, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., at all four of the Brewed Awakenings locations, with representatives available to help with license plate orders.

There will be copiers at each location so organizers can copy the registrations and assist with the order forms. Brewed Awakenings will provide each person who buys a plate with a $5 gift card. The day will include live music and entertainment, as well as an assortment of pink decorated muffins and pastries, and beverages decorated with fresh, pink whipped cream.

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/GloriaGemma , www.gloriagemma.org , or call 401-861-4376. For a list of Brewed Awakenings locations, visit https://brewedawakenings.alohaorderonline.com/Locations.aspx .