Manuela Gutierrez Velez, the Event Coordinator for the University of Florida’s Children Beyond Our Borders Chapter, has joined in the fight against childhood cancer.
Manuela wants to raise $1,000 by March 17 for St. Baldtrick’s Foundation, a volunteer-driven charity that provides more funds for childhood cancer research grants than any other organization except the U.S. government. If she does so, she will shave her head to show her support for children with cancer who often lose their hair during treatment while also inspiring friends and family to donate to support life changing research.
She learned about St. Baldrick’s from a fellow CBOB volunteer, Dragana Tabaković, who also shaved her head in solidarity in 2013. Manuela’s passion for working with children and knowledge of how underfunded the research of childhood cancer has inspired her take on this challenge.
“I have spent the majority of my time the past couple of years volunteering with and serving children. Children have taught me more than I could have imagined and creating brighter futures for them motivates me every day,” said Manuela. “Having volunteered with children facing terminal illnesses has inspired me to raise funds for pediatric cancer research.”
Dragana is a CBOB alumnus who was the Volunteer Manager of the nonprofit last year. Shaving her head was on her bucket list, so when Andrea Ortega, the executive director, mentioned St. Baldrick’s fundraiser, she was eager to join.
“It was inexplicable. I could write a thesis on it,” Dragana said about her experience shaving her head. “I didn't have time to think about the hair or stage fright. It's an event that's so much bigger than one's self so you feel small, big, empowered, loved, invincible, stunning. It is to this day one of the best moments of my life.”
Click here to donate to support a fellow CBOBer in the fight against childhood cancer.