Pauline Alighieri, GPP ’05
Founder, Friends of Mel Foundation
When my good friend and co-worker Mel Simmons passed away from cancer in 2005, I wanted to find a way to pay tribute to her. That’s how the Friends of Mel Foundation was born.
The colorful Turkish bracelets we sell raise donations for cancer research but also serve as a constant reminder of the person Mel was. More concerned with the plight of others than that of her own personal ordeal, she used to hand these bracelets out to people while receiving chemotherapy at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Cancer Center. They put smiles on people’s faces then. They continue to today.
Through the Friends of Mel Foundation, we have now raised over $5 million in donations to cancer research. Growing up in a large Catholic family, thinking of others is just what I do. As an Emmanuel graduate, I feel as though I’m living out the College’s mission and helping to give back.