Gladys is a gifted lacrosse player and after hearing about the HEADstrong Foundation through a fundraiser sponsored by the local junior high school's girls' lacrosse team, she took an interest in helping fight cancer.
The HEADstrong Foundation offers financial, residential, and emotional support to families affected by cancer. They support cancer patients and their families with peer support, comfort kits, financial help and lodging for families who have no place to stay while in the Philadelphia area.
The charity was founded in 2006 by Nicholas "Head" Colleluori, who was diagnosed with B-cell Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma during his sophomore year of college. Colleluori was a student-athlete playing men's lacrosse at NCAA Division 1 Hofstra University when he was diagnosed with large B-cell Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. He had to leave Hofstra in order to undergo chemotherapy, radiation, a stem cell transplant, and other experimental treatments. He died in 2006, the same year the Foundation was started.