Ana Céspedes Montoya and Rafael de Lorenzo García, two individuals who have made significant contributions to society, were awarded the Gold Medal of Castilla-La Mancha on the Region’s Day. The event was held in Manzanares and recognized a total of 39 recipients, including six Adoptive Sons and Daughters, 20 Predilect Sons and Daughters, and eleven Regional Merit badges.
Céspedes Montoya, who hails from Barrax (Albacete) and serves as the global Chief Operating Officer of IAVI, a non-profit organization that accelerates vaccine development to combat HIV and other diseases, highlighted the exceptional talent present in Castilla-La Mancha. She received a scholarship from the Regional Government at the age of 21, which enabled her to pursue a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. In her remarks, Céspedes underscored the importance of innovation and its potential to revolutionize healthcare. She emphasized the need for a proactive approach towards health and wellness, with each person contributing to the cause, eating a balanced diet, exercising, getting adequate sleep, nurturing mental health, and building meaningful relationships.
Rafael de Lorenzo García, Secretary-General of the ONCE Foundation, was another recipient who acknowledged the value of roots, family, and land. Hailing from Hellín, de Lorenzo was born in the neighborhood of Isso and maintains strong ties to his Manchego roots. He expressed his gratitude for the award and thanked all the recipients in his speech. De Lorenzo emphasized the importance of working together with administration, associations, and society to ensure that policies and laws benefit everyone equally. He also called for greater attention to the needs of people with disabilities and their families, urging organizations and administrations to continue their fight for dignity and well-being.
In conclusion, Ana Céspedes Montoya and Rafael de Lorenzo García’s acceptance of this prestigious award reflects their pride in their roots and their commitment to serving society. Even though they are not physically present in Castilla-La Mancha, they carry the memories, feelings, and identity of their land in their hearts.