Green ribbons line Hope Street to honor Bristol woman, 36, who lost battle with rare cancer

BRISTOL, R.I. (WLNE) – The friends of a Bristol woman who lost her battle with Mantle cell lymphoma two weeks ago have dressed the town in lime green to honor her.

Jennie Friese, 36, passed away on November 25 after a six-year battle with the aggressive and rare cancer. She left behind her husband, Jay, and two young sons.

“Jennie just was the light of this town. Everything she did was for her family, friends, and her boys. And, you know, we just wanted to honor her,” said friend Chelsea Sylvaria. “We all chose to hang ribbons on all the poles in town, going from Bristol into Warren, lining the line of the procession.”

Friese’s group of best friends decorated the trees and poles that line Hope Street in lime green ribbon, the color that signifies lymphoma awareness.

“We all came together, all of our closest friends. It’s really a tough time, especially during COVID, you know, not everyone could be there to say their goodbyes and to be there for the family, her husband, and her boys. So we decided to show our love and let her family know that no matter what she was loved and we’re all thinking of them.”

Sylvaria said the Friese family was touched to see the ribbons as they drove down Hope Street in the funeral procession.

Friese was originally from Warren but was raising her family in Bristol. She ran her own business selling clothes and accessories. Her friends said she was very involved in the community, and also in the Lymphoma Society, giving back to those fighting the same battle.

“Her strength was providing information on that. She was really big in the Lymphoma Society, the Light The Night, she did a lot of fundraisers for them. Really everything she stood for since her battle began was about that,” Sylvaria added.

The ribbons now serve as a reminder of the impact she left on everyone who knew her.

“It was difficult to see one of your closest friends go through this. She did it with style and grace, and, you know, she did it for her family. She had the most positive outlook on life. She faced every bump in the road with a smile, and jewelry and accessories to boot.”

Friese’s friends are raising money for her family by selling bracelets and they’re putting on a virtual concert on Facebook this Friday night. All proceeds will go directly to her family.

They’re also planning a Light The Night ride on December 18 at 6 p.m. People are asked to put green hearts in their windows to show the family their support.

© WLNE-TV 2020

Categories: News, Regional News, Rhode Island