Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Charity: Casa de Apoio à Criança com Câncer São Vicente de Paulo
Medical Condition: Diabetes
Medical Therapy: Insulin Pump
Sheila Vasconcellos has had type 1 diabetes for 30 years. In January 2014, she began using an insulin pump. Determined to give back, Sheila started volunteering at Casa de Apoio, where she helps children diagnosed with cancer and serious blood conditions. Shelia believes that the insulin pump has given her an extra life, and hopes to live another 45 years loving and supporting others.
“I’ve had type 1 diabetes for 30 years, generally without complications. After I suffered two serious accidents because of severe hypoglycemia, I decided to find out how new technology could help me live more safely.
“In January 2014, I started using an insulin pump and it was like I was born again. I hope to live another 45 years, helping those in need with love, passion and dedication.
“I have been volunteering with Casa de Apoio for 5 years, serving children and their families during cancer treatments. At first I began fundraising and now I visit hospitals, distribute food to families, and coordinate fundraising events and cultural activities.
“I also started an annual 'Beauty Day' event geared toward boosting the mothers’ self-esteem. This pampering event focuses on the caretakers, so they can forget about the stress at least for a moment, and then provide even better support to their children.
“I encourage everyone to take care of themselves — and also someone in need. Only then will we be stronger.”
Love is a powerful remedy that everyone can share.
Sheila believes love for ourselves and our neighbors is what saves and heals us. Even those receiving treatment or care can still find time to help others. There is always someone nearby who needs strength, bravery and support.
Casa de Apoio à Criança com Câncer São Vicente de Paulo assists children and teens diagnosed with cancer, sickle cell anemia and other serious blood diseases. The house provides quality care to children and their families during the treatment phase, with services like lodging, food donations, transportation, educational services, and cultural and recreational activities.