Certus Member

Since July 2023

Claudia Maniatis

Claudia Maniatis

The WillStrong Cancer Foundation Founder and Director


I moved to Colorado from Ann Arbor, Mi in 1990 via a one-way Greyhound bus ticket.  I had taken time off from college, having attended Miami University of Ohio for 2 years and decided fulfill my dream of living in Colorado.  I lived in Breckenridge for more than five years and then moved to Denver to finish my degree - finally earning a Bachelors of Science in Communication and Journalism from Metro in Denver.  

I worked in the public relations industry for several years and then "retired" once I had my first son.  A few sons later I got my certification to teach yoga which I continue to do as well as managed one of the CorePower Yoga studios.  

My biggest joy and accomplishment has been raising three amazing boys, even though in the raising of my youngest son I suffered the biggest heartbreak of my life when he was diagnosed and then died of acute myeloid leukemia when he was 15 years old.

As a result of walking alongside my son, Will, during treatment and then, eventually, hospice care I learned so much about the lack of funding for childhood cancer research in particular.  Will didn't have any good options for treatment of his particular type of leukemia due to that lack of funding and he became another statistic because of the inattention to funding and advocacy.  My promise to Will was that I would keep his fighting spirit alive and make a difference for other young cancer fighters like him.  

Will died in February of 2020 and shortly thereafter I created the WillStrong Cancer Foundation which is dedicated to funding research for more hard-to-treat childhood cancer blood cancers that are particularly under funded and aggressive.

Since inception WillStrong has donated $350,000 in support of direct research needs and has pledged another $300,000 over the next few years - we will fulfill that first tranche of funding by end of year.  We work directly with researchers and pay no indirects. 

I now work as the executive director of WillStrong and continue to grow the foundation and our impact.  

Will's older brothers are now mostly "flown"; the eldest having just graduated with a degree in finance from CSU (and employed!!!) and the middle about to start his junior year at Leeds Business School at CU and the owner of an auto detailing business, Luxury Buffs Auto Detailing.  I am grateful to be their mom and keep Will as my north star in everything I do.


Claudia's Groups

Denver Tech Center

Join us for a quick one hour meeting to learn more about our organization, the Denver Tech Center Group, and how being a member will help you accomplish your goals!

  • Day: Thursdays
  • Time: 9:00am - 10:15am


About Us

We are an intentional B2C networking organization that focuses on quality over quantity and long term relationship building.