The Donor: Mario Medeiros
The Gift: Raising $100,000 and climbing
The Cause: Red Meets Pink Foundation
The Reason: To find a cure for breast cancer and HIV/Aids
When Mario Medeiros lost his sister Maria to breast cancer nearly 20 years ago, he vowed to do something in her honour.
"She was 40 years old and she left eight kids behind," Mr. Medeiros recalled from his home in Toronto. "I promised myself that I would do something to help find a cure."
Years passed and he became caught up in work and other activities. "I was always too busy doing everything else and never made the time to keep the promise I had made to my sister," Mr. Medeiros said.
Then in 2003 he read a newspaper article about the AIDS epidemic in Africa. Having lost several friends to AIDS, Mr. Medeiros was moved by the description of dying and orphaned children in Africa. "That really was the wake-up call I needed to start what I started," he said.
He pulled together some money, called a few friends and held a fundraising dance called Red Meets Pink. The event proved to be a success and Mr. Medeiros soon created the Red Meets Pink Foundation as a registered charity.
The organization now holds regular dances, boat cruises and garage sales to raise money for various charities involved in breast cancer and HIV/Aids, including Princess Margaret Hospital, the Hospital for Sick Children and Doctors Without Borders.
Mr. Medeiros, who works in the finance department of the Toronto Star, has raised more than $100,000 so far, but he has had to use some of that money to defray the fundraising costs. He's hoping to find some corporate sponsors but for now he and his friends do all the work.
"Sometimes I get very frustrated and I want to give up," he said. "But when I think about my promise and my [sister's children]and those children in Africa, I can't give up. I feel like when someone closes a door on me I get stronger. I just don't take no for an answer."