Ana Céspedes Montoya and Rafael de Lorenzo García were recognized today with the Gold Medal of Castilla-La Mancha on the Region’s Day, emphasizing their “pride” and “responsibility” in receiving an award from a land that they are currently far from. They recognized that even though they are not physically present, Castilla-La Mancha is always in their hearts, memories, and feelings.
The award ceremony, held at the Gran Teatro in Manzanares (Ciudad Real), honored a total of 39 people. The awards included the Gold Medal for two recipients, the appointment of six Adoptive Sons and Daughters, 20 Predilect Sons and Daughters, and the granting of eleven Regional Merit badges.
Ana Céspedes, the global Chief Operating Officer of the non-profit organization that works to accelerate the development of vaccines to prevent HIV and other diseases (IAVI) and a native of Barrax (Albacete), highlighted the “inspirational talent” present in Castilla-La Mancha. She stated that she has always tried to give back to the region, as she received opportunities that allowed her to become a Doctor of Pharmacy thanks to a scholarship from the Regional Government when she was 21.
Looking forward to the next 30 years, Céspedes emphasized the importance of innovation, which she believes can “change our lives” and needs to be integrated into the healthcare system. She advocates for prevention and changing the paradigm towards a focus on health, with the participation of every individual contributing to the cause. She expressed her wishes that everyone adopts healthy lifestyles, including a balanced diet, exercise, sufficient sleep, mental exercise, love, and friendship.
For his part, Rafael de Lorenzo García, Secretary-General of the ONCE Foundation, acknowledged the value of roots, land, and family. He was not physically present at the ceremony but expressed gratitude on behalf of all of the recipients. Although he had to leave Hellín, where he was born in the neighborhood of Isso, de Lorenzo maintains his Manchego roots.
De Lorenzo emphasized the importance of working hand in hand with administrations, associations, and society to ensure that policies and laws benefit people equally. He addressed individuals with disabilities and their families, stating that there are organizations and administrations fighting for their welfare and dignity, and encouraged everyone to work together to achieve equality and well-being for all.
La entrada «Ana Céspedes y Rafael de Lorenzo García se sienten orgullosos y responsables por la Medalla de Oro de su tierra que llevan en su interior» se publicó primero en Diario de Castilla-la Mancha.