Founder // Executive Director
Ali is a 22 year old student at the University of Rhode Island, triple majoring in Global Business Management, German, and Human Development and Family Sciences. She has been a passionate childhood cancer advocate since the age of 12. Coming from a family of public servants, she has always been inspired to find her passion and give it to others. Her grandmother has inspired her deeply, as a Lieutenant JG in the Navy for 2 years, and also coming from a family of Holocaust survivors. Both of her grandfathers also served in the Navy for 2 decades.
Her parents have always taken her up on the challenges she has brought to them, like when she begged them to volunteer at a food bank at the age of 6. At 12, she conducted a fundraiser, “Gift for Grace,” that raised $1,300 for a local family, and at 17, she won Student of the Year for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society for raising over $43,000 in 6 weeks.
To date, Ali has raised over $250,000 for various organizations including LLS, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, The Izzy Foundation, Talia’s Legacy, The Tomorrow Fund and more. She is the founder of Miracle Masks, a small business where she has created over 2,500 face masks and donated all of the proceeds to childhood cancer foundations. She also donates her platelets and blood on a regular basis for kids battling cancer.
Her biggest inspiration remains her honorary “little sis,” Ella, who battled leukemia for 3 years. Ella lit a spark for Ali and all those around her that inspire them to fight for what they believe in. Ali has advocated multiple times to Congress members in D.C. and virtually for more funding for pediatric cancer in honor of Ella and all of the other fighters, survivors and angels.
Carrigan Nelson, 21, of Portsmouth RI is a 3 time Osteosarcoma warrior. She has been fighting the aggressive bone cancer for 3 years. She is a recent above the knee amputee and is currently undergoing monthly chemotherapy. Carrigan is an 8 time gold medalist and black belt in Taekwondo.
She is an award winning vocalist who has been performing regionally for a decade, most recently performing for a crowd of over 30K fans at a Boston Red Sox Game benefiting the Jimmy Fund. She is a youth mentor and a graduate of the Melissa Mulligan Vocal Studios Masters and Graduate Program for Contemporary Artists NYC. Carrigan is the proud recipient of the 2019 NAACP Role Model of the Year Award for Newport County, the 2020 Newport Daily News Youth Leadership Award and is 2020’s Honorary Miss RI’s Outstanding Teen.
She enjoys creating content on YouTube and TikTok. She started and maintains the Sarcoma Fighters Instagram Page which aims to connect Osteosarcoma warriors, honor their journeys, and pay tribute to Osteosarcoma angels.
Carrigan is an ambassador for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute’s “ Defy Cancer” campaign, the Jimmy Fund Radio Telethon and the Kendra Scott “Kendra Cares” program. Her greatest passion is her work as a Pediatric Cancer Advocate. Carrigan has raised over $20,000 in donations for her fellow pediatric cancer warriors. Carrigan’s hospital room was across from Ella’s. Ella was such a beautiful and positive light. She remains Carrigan’s inspiration. Carrigan proudly serves on the GOH board in honor of Ella and her fellow cancer warriors and angels.
Debbie is a math teacher at Cranston High School West. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education with a concentration in math from the University of Rhode Island. She then went on and received her Master’s degree in Secondary School Counseling from The Citadel in Charleston, SC.
Debbie loves to spend time with her family. She is the wife of Gary Hornung and has two beautiful daughters, Ali and Brooke. She also enjoys traveling.
She became involved in Glimmer of Hope through her daughter Ali who is the founder and executive director. She is very proud of the work Ali has done to help pediatric cancer patients and their families. She is often behind the scenes doing whatever she can to support Ali and Glimmer of Hope.
Social Media Specialist
Amanda Robertson is a 22-year-old Public Relations and Communication Studies graduate of the University of Alabama. She currently serves as the Social Media Specialist for Glimmer of Hope Foundation. Using her passion for children’s health, Amanda creates graphics, videos and various social media content to promote GOH’s mission and raise awareness for childhood cancer.
In addition to her work with Glimmer of Hope, Amanda served as Director of Media production for her university’s Dance Marathon program, capturing and editing content for both digital and print mediums. This is where she first found her passion for advocating for childhood cancer and is thrilled to be able to use her skills to support GOH.
Amanda feels so blessed to be able to work with such an incredible team and to use the skills she has learned in her classes to help spread hope to those battling childhood cancer!
Monique is a 35 year old, mostly stay at home Mom, but she is also a pediatric nurse! Monique has joined GOH to assist the team with grant writing!
Her favorite part about Glimmer of Hope includes “collaborating with strong supportive women who want to spread hope and offer their support to children and families affected by cancer.” Monique’s reason lies within her younger sister who has Down Syndrome.
Monique says “My future goals with GOH include being able to help sustain funding for GOH so they can help even more children and families than last year!”
Director of Special Initiatives
Jade is a 21 year old undergraduate Nursing major at the University of Rhode Island. She enjoys being an active member of her sorority, Sigma Delta Tau, and the former Diversity and Inclusion Chair. Recently, Jade has accepted and began an internship with Hasbro Children’s Hospital in an Inpatient Unit.
Jade was inspired to join the Glimmer of Hope team from her sorority big sister and the Executive Director of Glimmer of Hope, Ali. Ali and Jade immediately bonded over their connections in life with cancer and losses they had experienced. Since joining Glimmer of Hope, Jade loves working alongside Caroline and Ali and seeing the ideas of the Glimmer of Hope Junior Board come to life. She is inspired by how much they care and how much they want to change the world at young ages.
Jade found her inspiration to pursue Nursing from the Nurses who helped her grandfather when he was fighting his battle with cancer and the Nurses who helped her mother when she had a cancerous polyp removed. One important lesson Jade learned from her grandfather was the meaning of strength, which is something that she always takes with her through life. She always admired his drive, passion, and positivity no matter how much he was going through, and feels there is still so much she wants to learn from the same qualities of others. For this, she has
hopes of one day working in pediatric oncology.
From her grandfather’s story, the stories learnt from Glimmer of Hope and the stories of her clinical patients, Jade has become eager to want to be better and do better. She knows there is still so much to learn from the Glimmer of Hope team and the Junior Board, and is excited to
expand her knowledge and help make a difference!
Lisa is a 19 year old student studying at Simmons University. She is studying sociology and law with hopes to become a prosecutor one day. Lisa has a wide variety of interests and has always been passionate for helping children who have illnesses.
Having Ali’s Mom as a teacher her senior year, she met Ali and they clicked. Lisa will do whatever she can to help others, including run for Student of the Year through the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society as a freshman in college, knowing she would not qualify. She simply just wanted to help raise money.
Although not cancer, Lisa fought many pediatric illnesses and does everything she can to ease the lives of other kids who are fighting for the lives. She continues to do so and is more than happy to on the GOH team!