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Gina Mancuso: The Core of PHL24

In some circles, Gina Mancuso is almost as synonymous with the Art Museum steps as Rocky Balboa.

“The stairs are the heart of CoreFitness,” Gina says with a laugh. And Gina is one of the human hearts of CoreFitness, a local fitness company that has hosted boot camps at the Art Museum steps for the last 15 years.

That’s part of the reason why Gina came up with the crazy idea now known as PHL24.

“My best friend, Carrie, was diagnosed with colon cancer about 10 years ago,” Gina says. “She was told she had 6 months. She had the chance to undergo an experimental surgery, which actually isn’t experimental anymore, and it gave her so many more years.”

Gina frequently made the trip back and forth to Ithaca to be with Carrie and during many of those conversations, Gina wished out loud that there was something she could do. Carrie, with what seemed to be her usual resolve, replied “There is, but you just don’t know it yet.”

Carrie was right. “I think she guided me through the whole thing.”

The first thing Gina could do was join the Legacy of Hope Board. She met founder and CEO Mike Rowe through 11th Hour Racing and classes at CoreFitness.

“Mike was so fiery and passionate about Legacy of Hope,” Gina says. “I knew it was something I had to get involved with.”