When Bridgette Perrotta was diagnosed with cancer in January 2007, her family and friends quickly formed the B–Strong group, a support system that included family and friends from high school, college and her travels around the world. Impacted by Bridgette’s caring nature, B–Strong members made bracelets, T–shirts and magnets to support Bridgette during this difficult time.
Although Bridgette died after a 6–month battle against cancer, her family and friends are determined to keep her legacy and spirit alive.
Planning the Benefit
Last year, B–Strong held a benefit concert in honor of Bridgette, but because Bridgette had touched so many different people in multiple locations, they had trouble deciding where to donate the money raised at the event.
Eventually, B–Strong decided to donate the money to CaringBridge. “We wanted to make sure the money was going to go to something that would help patients,” says Casey Barrett, a college friend of Bridgette. “CaringBridge was something that instantly made sense to everyone. Everyone used Bridgette’s page.”
Because the B–Strong benefit concert in Minneapolis, Minn. was such a success, Casey and her friend Adrienne Cooper decided to plan a second benefit in Chicago. “We knew that we were doing something that was going to be really successful and benefit this cause, but it was also a chance for us to talk about Bridgette,” says Casey. “It was therapeutic for both of us.”
The B–Strong benefit concert also included a silent auction with items donated by B–Strong members and other community members. The event raised over $5,000 for CaringBridge.
Continuing Bridgette’s Legacy
B–Strong members remain connected to each other and to Mike, Bridgette’s husband, through Bridgette’s CaringBridge website. “CaringBridge not only touched Bridgette and Mike and connected them to all of us, but it also connected us to each other,” says Casey. “People still visit her page and write messages. CaringBridge is keeping us connected, even two years after Bridgette passed.”
B–Strong plans to hold a fundraising event in her honor annually. “We are able to keep Bridgette’s generosity of spirit alive, and hopefully our contributions will help ensure that many, many others will continue to find comfort and support through CaringBridge,” says Casey.