The retired judge and “Caught In Providence” star Frank Caprio recently revealed that he is battling pancreatic cancer. But now he will face treatments with a little extra warmth and support due to a symbolic gift from Project Purple: a Blanket of Hope.
Who is Judge Frank Caprio?
Eighty-seven-year-old Frank Caprio recently retired from a wonderful career as a judge, which included being the subject of a reality TV show called “Caught in Providence.”
The tagline of the show, “A different kind of judge. A courtroom like no other,” speaks volumes. This show was not built for “gotcha” moments or dramatic altercations like many television courtroom shows but instead focused on kindness, fairness, and empathy, which Caprio has shown in spades.
Along with his time on the show, “Judge Frank Caprio served as the Chief Municipal Judge in Providence, Rhode Island, and former Chairman of the Rhode Island Board of Governors. He was appointed in 1985 and was re-appointed six times by the mayor of Providence and the Providence City Council,” according to CaughtInProvidence.com.
Above all, Judge Caprio is most known for being kind, demonstrated time and again in the many viral clips that have circulated around the internet, most of which can be found on the Caught In Providence YouTube page.
Judge Frank Caprio Faces Pancreatic Cancer
On Dec. 6, 2023, Caprio announced in a video posted to social media that he is battling pancreatic cancer.
“I would ask that, each of you, in your own way, to please pray for me,” Caprio said.
“One of the happiest days of the year for me is my birthday. And recently, I celebrated my 87th birthday and I received so many wonderful messages from people all over the world. This birthday is a little different than any other I have ever had. Quite recently, I was not feeling well and received a medical examination and the report was not a good one. And so I have been diagnosed with cancer of the pancreas, which is an insidious form of cancer.”
Caprio is currently being treated by a team of doctors in Rhode Island as well as the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.
“I know this is a long road and I’m fully prepared to fight as hard as I can,” Caprio said in his video.
Sending Warmth Through A Blanket of Hope
Upon seeing Judge Frank Caprio’s video, the Project Purple team was immediately moved to assemble a care package for the famously kind judge. This package included a Blanket of Hope, which Project Purple provides to anyone battling pancreatic cancer, along with a letter voicing our support for him and his family.
While we are an international charity that has a presence at the five biggest marathons in the world, our roots are right here in New England. Our home office is in Seymour, Conn., and many of our staff are New England natives.
Project Purple Marketing Manager Sam DaCosta grew up in Rhode Island, just 10 minutes from Providence, the city where Caprio served.
“Us Rhode Islanders have been extremely proud of Judge Caprio and the work he has done,” DaCosta said. “There is a reason there are murals and works of art dedicated to him. He is a symbol of honesty, generosity, positivity, and compassion. In a world where people ‘go viral’ on social media for what are often the wrong reasons, Judge Caprio’s presence on social media has been an inspiration to so many, including myself, to treat others with kindness and do the right thing.”
DaCosta was upset to learn the news of Caprio’s diagnosis. But seeing the support Judge Caprio has received and the motivational pieces Caprio has been posting over the past week have been very moving, he said.
“I was heartbroken when I first saw his announcement video,” DaCosta said, “But seeing Judge Caprio dressed head to toe in purple with a big smile on his face was so motivating. It really lifted my spirits and I hope our gift helped to lift his.”
Blankets of Hope for All Pancreatic Cancer Fighters
Project Purple hopes to provide warmth and support for all patients battling pancreatic cancer through our patient aid initiatives. The Blanket of Hope we provided to Judge Frank Caprio is available to anyone in the United States who is facing pancreatic cancer.
Sending free purple fleece blankets is part of a tradition here at Project Purple. Our founder, Dino Verrelli, started Project Purple in 2008 when his dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer to help other people affected by this disease.
Dino’s father, Giovanni, always loved to bring his fleece blanket to chemotherapy treatments as patients undergoing chemo can get very cold. This inspired us to begin sending blankets to other patients.
When Judge Frank Caprio received his own care package, his son David sent us a photo and wrote “Thank you for the care package. He will stay warm wrapped in purple!”
We hope to provide both literal and symbolic warmth and comfort through these blankets. We want everyone who is going through this disease to feel the support of our entire community.
If you or a loved one are facing pancreatic cancer and would like to feel the warmth of a purple Blanket of Hope, you can click here.
How To Support Blankets of Hope and Other Patient Aid Initiatives
We send Blankets of Hope free of charge to patients. However, it costs Project Purple roughly $36 to send each blanket. If you would like to help us cover the costs of sending blankets as well as our other patient aid programs, you can click here to visit our Purple 360 donation campaign page.
All donations help, and if you set up a recurring donation of $36 per month, you can make it possible for us to send a blanket to a patient every single month.
The Purple 360 page marks donations for patient aid initiatives which include Blankets of Hope, as well as financial aid (monetary assistance given to patients to afford cost of living expenses as they battle pancreatic cancer), and our Nutrition Assistance Program (which provides prepared meals to patients and families who are facing this disease).