PROVIDENCE – Visual arts teacher Amy Weigand began her career in Burrillville, and currently works at Paul Cuffee Middle School in Providence.
There’s not quite enough parking for teachers at the school, and it was there that Weigand got the parking ticket that led to her appearance in Providence Municipal Court and on Caught in Providence – a court TV show officiated by Judge Frank Caprio.
A judge known for his compassion, Caprio’s show has built a following across the globe, due in part to what fans say is a refreshing approach that values common sense, and uses heart, along with head.
Weigand answered the January ticket on a recent braodcast, explaining to Caprio how the fine had slipped her mind.
“The day I got my ticket is actually the same day I got my diagnosis for breast cancer,” she said in a video that has since been viewed by some 2.8 million people online, and shared more than 16,000 times. “I have been in and out of the hospital since that day.”
The teacher, who was eight days into chemotherapy at the time, becomes emotional in the courtroom, explaining that things have been hard.
“I’m more than happy to pay the fine,” Weigand says through tears. “I was just hoping that it wouldn’t be tripled.”
After just a few moments, Caprio tells a court clerk to give her his water. He then leaves the bench, puts an arm around Weigand and walks her out of the courtroom, telling her that the case will be dismissed.
Weigand has since signed up to a Torchbearer for the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation’s Illuminations of Life Ceremony in October. She is raising money to help with the operating costs of the Hope Bus – a 38-foot-long RV that provides education and support to cancer patients, survivors and people in the community.
“The Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation has been there for me from the very beginning,” Weigand explained on the fundraising page, found here. “Emotional support, frozen meals and limitless knowledge and informational resources – I do not know how I would have navigated my new reality without them.”
Weigand has raised $1,809 of her $2,000 goal for the ceremony, scheduled for Oct. 5
She noted that by the time of the event, she will have had surgery, 20 weeks of chemotherapy and should be wrapping up her final weeks of radiation.
“Your donation will help support me and other survivors in the state of Rhode Island and beyond,” she says. “Thank you.”