By Wendy Sarubbi | January 18, 2013 12:08 pm

Dozens of Orlando residents will be stripping down to their underwear in public to raise money for a worthy cause. The local “Cupid’s Undie Run” is set for Saturday, February 9, as part of a national effort across 17 cities to raise money for the Children’s Tumor Foundation (CTF.) That money will benefit patients and their families who are affected by Neurofibromatosis, a debilitating disease that causes tumors to grow throughout the nervous system.

UCF College of Medicine Professor Dr. Cristina Fernandez-Valle has devoted her career to developing treatments for the incurable disease, which can cause blindness, deafness, severe pain and learning disabilities. “We are at a very critical point in research where we’re beginning to be able to use drugs to test their efficacy in reducing tumor size.” Her team at the Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences works in conjunction with the Children’s Tumor Foundation and the Sanford-Burnham Research Institute located in Lake Nona’s medical city. Dr. Fernandez-Valle has been active with CTF for more than a decade working to support families who are dealing with the disease.

The 4th Annual Cupid’s Undie Run is the flagship fundraiser for CTF, where runners take to the streets of cities like Washington, D.C and New York, often braving frigid temperatures to raise awareness and funds for Neurofibromatosis. The event always runs near Valentine’s Day, and participants are asked to wear their “bedroom best.” For some, that means underwear; and for the more modest at heart, pajamas or sweats will suffice.

This will be the first year that Orlando has participated in Cupid’s Undie Run, and the warm winter weather of Central Florida suggests that Orlando runners will be much more comfortable than their counterparts farther north.

The University of Central Florida has an official team that will be running in the event. Registration is $30 and full information can be found on the official website at

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