Margaret Guedes, a Central Floridian of the Year runner-up for her passion

Margaret Guedes: Twice she put life on pause and parachuted into Seattle so her son, John, could have bone-marrow transplants. In 1992, months after her 9-year-old lost his fight with leukemia, she launched Kids Beating Cancer Inc. to spare sick kids who need transplants the turmoil of being uprooted. KBC recruited 37,000 new donors to the national registry, raised funds, and pushed for a local kids' transplant center. In August, Kids Beating Cancer Pediatric Transplant Center at Florida Hospital for Children opened — with KBC's $1 million gift. Thanks to Guedes' love letter to her son, kids "can have the best hope for a cure right here at home."

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