An unforgettable night indeed. Sofia Vergara stepped into the spotlight on Tuesday, February 27, to accept a special award. The Modern Family star was honored with the Courage Award at the Women’s Cancer Research Fund’s “An Unforgettable Evening" gala presented by Saks Fifth Avenue. The 45-year-old, who was diagnosed with thyroid cancer at age 28, accepted the award from Rita Wilson for her continued support and dedication to raising awareness for cancer research.
"My personal experience with cancer 18 years ago made me passionate about cancer research," she said. "And one of my greatest joys is working with the children's hospital. I accept this award tonight for all of you tonight for as a way to honor the courage for all of you here in this room, that has come from supporting this great cause."
VIEW GALLERY The actress was honored with the Courage Award at the gala Photo: Getty Images
In her speech, Sofia, who works with St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, revealed that she recently helped a young boy from her native Colombia get the treatment he required. “Just this month actually I was contacted by a family in Colombia with a son who needed an urgent bone marrow transplant and the doctors in Colombia had the technology to do it but they couldn’t provide the aftercare following the procedure,” she shared. “The people from St. Jude’s transported the child and his family immediately. After a week they were here and they were able to start the treatment.”
Sofia, dressed in a floral Monique Lhuillier dress, had the support of her doting husband Joe Manganiello, 41, at the star-studded fundraiser that raised over $1.5 million for the Women’s Cancer Research Fund — a program of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The TV star was also joined by her 25-year-old son Manolo Gonzalez Vergara and look-alike niece Claudia Vergara.
VIEW GALLERY Sofia had the support of her husband, along with her son and look-alike niece Photo: Getty Images
In 2011, the Colombian beauty opened up to Health about her Hypothyroidism diagnosis and why she originally kept it a secret. She explained, “I didn’t want publicity because of that. Having cancer is not fun. You don’t want to deal with anything else while you’re going through it.”
Sofia, who had surgery to remove her thyroid gland, admitted that she learned a lot from the experience. She said, “When you go through something like this, its hard, but you learn a lot from it. Your priorities change. You don’t sweat the small stuff. And it had a good ending.”