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Volunteer of the Year: Gwen Coverdale

A smiling woman and a young girl, both wearing t-shirts with inspirational slogans, posing together in front of a dark background.National Volunteer Appreciation Week (April 21-27, 2024) may only happen once a year, but all year long the Children’s Tumor Foundation celebrates the impact of volunteer service and the commitment it takes to build a strong Foundation from the humble dream of one person to the shared vision of a powerful worldwide community of many.

Every CTF volunteer possesses a special energy, determination and passion that transcends our goals to drive research, expand knowledge & education and spread awareness. It is our privilege to share this year’s Volunteer of the Year: Gwen Coverdale.

Gwen enthusiastically raises NF awareness and educates the unaffected in ways that bring new supporters into the fold. She inspires others through actions, words, setting an example, embracing innovation, and being a team player. Gwen has built community and made valuable connections that help to support others along their journeys. Over the years, Gwen’s remarkable contributions have showcased her innovative spirit, collaborative nature, and outstanding dedication. She is a true champion of the Foundation and the NF cause as well as an advocate for the greater community.

Gwen’s personal connection to NF is through her daughter Shaelyn, who was diagnosed in October 2010 at six months old. In addition to neurofibromatosis type 1, she has ADHD and a small optic glioma that has remained stable. Shaelyn was formally diagnosed with Moya Moya in 2021 (she had been on watch for a few years prior) and had brain surgery to bypass a block internal carotid artery that same year. Despite these challenges, she’s doing well in school and is actively involved in lacrosse and other extra curricular activities.

CTF has a number of ways to get involved and make a difference. If you would like to learn more about volunteering opportunities, please visit