On a typical day, you can find Natalie Agudo at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City working as a Research Nurse Specialist. For the past 4 and ½ years, Natalie has worked to support cancer research with multiple-myeloma patients. For Natalie, being in this position just feels right. Since she was a kid, Natalie knew that the medical field was her calling. Helping people, and supporting them through a difficult time, has been a privilege of hers. And if you’ve had the pleasure of meeting her, you know that this is absolutely true.
Cancer stops for no one, and even when the world felt like it came to a halt in March of 2020, as the Covid Pandemic struck NYC as an epicenter, she continued to provide support and treatment for the patients around her. In one of the scariest times of our century, Natalie stepped up to the plate in a big way. Not only did she continue to support her patients, she was one of the first healthcare workers to start administering Covid-19 vaccines across the U.S,. in a place where the virus was rampant and one of the largest, most booming cities had gone quiet. She recalls it as one of the most rewarding moments of her life “seeing all of the New Yorkers lining up to get the vaccine as soon as they could.”
So how did Natalie come to be one of our 2023 SYBeInspired Recipients? Ask any of the 50 guests that came on our Morocco “Desert Dopeness” trip this year, Nat greets you with the biggest smile, a hug, and always asks you how you are (and truly wants to know!) It was her first time traveling with all new people, let alone to Africa, and she showed up in a big way. Nat could tell you something profound about each and every one of the people she traveled with, because just like in her day-to-day job, she shows up for the people around her. There’s something about Nat that just brings a calmness to you - like you know you’re in good company before she even says anything, and having her as one of our recipients was a massive celebration for SurfYogaBeer. As a recipient, Nat took this opportunity and ran with it - literally - showing up to every early morning run, workout, yoga session, and pre-party champagne hour. If there was an activity, Nat was in.
As Nat describes it, “I can say that this was the absolute best trip I’ve ever taken in my life. Who knew I was going to come back home to NYC as a changed person in the best way imaginable. SurfYogaBeer opened up my eyes and heart to the beauty of traveling, having fun, enjoying new experiences and meeting so many amazing like-minded individuals that I bonded with. We came from all over (the USA and Europe) and it’s like I was on a trip with my 52 closest friends. Even though I had just met them, I felt like I had known them my whole life. I have become happier, more open and in tune with my emotions, and more comfortable and proud of who I am as a person."
SurfYogaBeer is committed to giving back and honoring those who do good in their communities. Our nonprofit, SYBeInspired, is currently dedicated to healthcare professionals experiencing caregiver burnout from the impacts of Covid-19 and/or their incredibly demanding jobs. Periodically throughout the year, we offer spots on our trips to those who could use a very human-to-human experience and connection. With the help of our fundraisers, we were able to send two healthcare workers to Nicaragua in 2022, and two more to Morocco and Iceland in 2023. We hope to continue to provide life changing experiences through SYBeInspired.
If you’re interested in sponsoring a fundraiser for SYBeInspired, you may reach out to email@example.com for more information. If you’d like to attend our in-person second annual Black Tie Gala in Mexico City on October 21, 2023, head over to our Instagram @surfyogabeer for details!
All photos were taken by Keegan Starkey.
Posted on Wed 26 Jul 2023 · by Meag Donnelly