Friends – thank you so much for taking the time to visit this page to learn more about our dear friend Manny and to support a very important cause! Manny Morales was many things to many people, but to me, he was one of the most empathetic and supportive people I knew and most importantly, the amazing life partner to one of my closest childhood friends, Megan (AKA Megs).
Although we lived on opposite coasts, I’ll never forget how Manny went out of his way to get to know me and our other hometown friends, recognizing the importance of these lifelong friendships to Megs. Manny was always so good at taking interest in others in the most genuine way, and he was able to figure out from afar what each of us liked and often shared photos or silly memes that he knew would resonate with us or make us laugh. Over the last few years, he checked in on us frequently throughout the pandemic, offering words of support through the tough times and just letting us know he was there. When I reflect back on my friendship with Manny, it’s astonishing that I can actually count on one hand the number of times we were fortunate enough to hang out in person, because it feels like I knew him in the same way I would have if he and Megs had lived just down the road. And after having met and heard from so many of Manny’s friends and family at his service, I can now see that this is how he approached all of his relationships in life — with a focus on others and a genuine kindness that was simply unmatched.
As some of you know, we lost Manny earlier this year to a rare disease called idiopathic Multicentric Castleman Disease (iMCD). As with many rare diseases, treatment options are limited, and research funding is hard to come by. The Castleman Disease Collaborative Network, or CDCN, is an organization that is trying to change the outlook for Castleman patients by raising awareness and advancing research in this space. Beyond that, the team that runs the CDCN has been incredibly supportive to Megs, Manny, and their loved ones, and I have been so impressed with the individual approach that they take with each family affected by Castleman.
This November, I will be running the NYC Marathon and raising funds for the CDCN to honor Manny and the beautiful, selfless life he led. I would be so grateful for any donation you are able to make — truly no amount is too small. Your generosity will help improve outcomes for Castleman patients in the future, and I know it would mean so much to Manny to know he was able to help others in some way. Thank you again for your support!