General troublemaking

Inspiring Troublemakers: Ariel and Andrea

Troublemakers: It’s been awhile, but I haven’t forgotten you! Here’s to getting back on track…

As you know, I am fortunate enough to work with individuals driven by their innate desire to make the world a better, more sustainable place. As a change agent myself, it’s constant inspiration for me to be surrounded by those who are taking action about issues they care so deeply about.

One of these individuals is Ariel Beery, who co-founded PresenTense. While not only indebted to him for allowing me to have a job that I find great meaning in (and keeps a small roof over my head), I look at Ariel, and co-founder Aharon, and realize the impact two individuals can make on the world. With an idea they were able to build out an organization that has directly improved and saved lives as well as fosters Jewish community in an age where that is not always easy. While just two examples of the (fortunately!) many individuals working on solving the world’s most pressing needs, Ariel and Aharon are individuals that I can relate to and have worked with the most, and have moved on after PresenTense to continue to do inspiring things.

Ariel, after moving on in a professional capacity from PresenTense, has co-founded a new company called MobileOCT, which allows for affordable mobile screening of cervical cancer in the developing world. This invention can save literally millions of lives. The technology is simple yet the implications are enormous. Shameless plug: help support MobileOCT’s work through their Indiegogo campaign.

My mother, Andrea, is a survivor of cervical cancer. She was fortunate that they found it when she was pregnant with my younger sister, and was able to treat it, but not without long term repercussions. 15 years after her diagnosis and treatment, my mother was diagnosed with Lymphedema, a chronic condition that prevents the lymph system from working, as a result of them removing lymph nodes during her surgery. While fortunate that her condition is somewhat under control, my mom has to live (potentially) the rest of her life with one leg that’s swollen to be about double (or more) the size of the other. It’s a dangerous condition because one bug bite or cut can lead to massive infection, which has happened to her twice.

Every year my mom walks in the Lymphatic Research Foundation’s walk against Lymphatic diseases, and is an advocate for the cause of research and awareness for the condition, which many doctor’s are not aware of. (Another shameless plug, support my mom’s walk! I swear this isn’t supposed to be a fundraising post)

I am humbled and inspired to have worked alongside Ariel, and to consider him a friend and mentor. The work he is doing is not only important for the world, but plays a very special place in my heart. And I am so fortunate to be the daughter of an incredibly strong and inspiring woman who, despite the crap the universe has dealt her, remains positive and aims to make a difference in the lives of others through raising awareness and funds for Lymphedema.