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    Merula Steagall has thalassemia—a rare hereditary blood disease—but has always led a normal life. Aware of the low quality of life for the majority of thalassemia patients in Brazil, she has used her knowledge of business to communicate with diverse partners about the democratization of access to health information and quality treatments. Through her work, Merula has doubled the life expectancy of patients, and is beginning to work on a broader range of blood diseases.

    Through her organization Instituto Oncoguia, Luciana empowers cancer patients with information and personalized support, enabling them to take an active role in their treatment and recovery, while at the same leading changes in how society and health institutions view and treat the disease in Brazil.

    Daniel Kish is transforming the blindness profession and the lives of people around the world through a model of perceptual navigation that is more respectful of blind dignity and purpose, easier to teach, learn, and use, and is more diversely applicable to all ages, cultures, backgrounds, and ability profiles.

    Vera Gaensly Cordeiro is a pediatrician who could not stand to see terribly or terminally ill children obtain treatment in her hospital only to be released to such poverty that they could not recover or have hope of comfort.

    Sylvio Jose de Oliveira has created an independent, voluntary program in the Rio de Janeiro state prison system designed to prevent AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases from spreading among and through the inmates. The focus of this program is to provide health and hygiene information, and at the same time enhance individual self-esteem. Sylvio's project is now being implemented in thirteen of the sixteen prisons in Rio de Janeiro.

    By teaching practical culinary and social skills, Simone Berti is preparing individuals with Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities to assimilate into society and be self-sufficient.

    In a pilot center in a small town in northeastern Brazil, Renata Arantes Villela is creating a caring and nurturing environment for the disabled. With strong links to the broader community in which it is based, the pilot center will serve as a model for the development of much-needed services for the disabled and as a vehicle for combating misconceptions about disabled individuals and what they can offer to their communities.

    Caroline has created a new way forward for existing drugs to be developed in rare diseases. She is accelerating the cost-effective development of unexplored therapeutic opportunities in rare diseases by addressing key translational gaps and clinical development challenges, acting as an investor, a patient voice integrator and a trusted broker between patients, pharmaceutical companies biomedical centers of expertise and regulatory authorities.

    Having secured the legal foundation for the human rights of the LGBT community through judicialization, Marinalva is now reinforcing mainstream support of the LGBT community in public life and at home.

    Anne Basting is transforming the experience of aging and the stigma around dementia and memory loss by empowering older adults and their caregivers with new practices rooted in creative expression and community building. Having demonstrated the impact at the individual level, her sights are now set on transforming institutions of care into cultural and community centers of creative expression and growth.