Featured MassKicker

Neal El-Jor

The only thing that gets me up in the morning is, knowing that I am working towards making a difference.

Neal El-Jor is a mAss Kicker with International experience!  We met Neal in San Francisco earlier this year through Esperity.  She earned her BA in Psychology from LEBANESE AMERICAN UNIVERSITY in Beirut, Lebanon in 2008.  In August 2015, she got her Master’s Degree in International marketing from HULT INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS SCHOOL in San Francisco.  She splits her time with Socialab as a marketing consultant and business development/marketing manager for Esperity.  We were very fortunate to find some time in her schedule to ask her some questions about her involvement in cancer advocacy!

mK: Thanks for doing this Neal!  What is your relationship to tumors/cancer:
NE: It is a big part of my career.  I currently work with a startup called Esperity, which aims at advocating the empowerment of cancer patients (and survivors)

mK: Esperity is a great organization.  How did you get involved with Esperity?
NE: At first it started as a college project, but because I felt so passionate about what they are trying to do, I ended up becoming the business development and marketing manager. I love having the opportunity to be at the forefront of health and tech.

mK: What motivates you?
NE: As cheesy as it may sound, the only thing that gets me up in the morning is, knowing that I am working towards making a difference.

mK: That’s great!  Who is your personal hero?
NE: I would have to say my husband. He has this way of dealing with things, which makes me feel so strong. He has this courage that allows him to face any situation head on without hesitation. It’s empowering really.

mK:Let’s get to know you better… What makes you laugh, cry, angry?
NE: Puppies make me laugh. Hopelessness makes me cry, and inconsideration makes me angry.

mK: OK, we’re gonna start asking weird questions to get to know you better… What would you say is the most interesting thing you’ve ever done?
NE: Wow, that’s a toughie. One of the interesting things I have done is work in a psychiatric ward. I really got a glimpse at the human brain’s plasticity.

mK: Based on what you’ve observed, what is the toughest challenge a survivor faces?
NE: I cannot even begin to imagine what a survivor has been through. But based on my observation, I would say one of the toughest challenges is finding normalcy again.

mK: What is your guilty pleasure?
NE: Fries. Everyday…FRIES!

mK: HAHAHA!  The fries or “frites” in Belgium are AWESOME!  How would you describe yourself in 20 words or less?
NE: I am very passionate. I build connections by listening and helping whenever possible. I strongly believe in self-expression. I value my personal space.

mK: What are you up to now?
NE: I am currently working with Esperity (as previously mentioned). I also work with a consulting company, SociaLab, which focuses on social impact projects.

mK: Very cool!  Any advice for people or loved ones that get daunting diagnoses?
NE: You are not alone.

mK: Tell us something about yourself that people probably didn’t know… anything.
NE: Hmm…well, most people don’t know that I was raised in Africa, in Nigeria. And we had all sorts of exotic pets! Parrots, monkeys, horsies…fun childhood!

mK: Any parting words for all the mAss Kickers?
NE: Just keep on keepin’ on!

Neal El-Jor:  International Marketing Wiz, childhood parrot-monkey-horsie whisperer, valuer of personal space, fried potato eater, puppy lover, her husband’s biggest fan, cancer patient advocate, and world traveler!  Thanks for doing the interview Neal!  We look forward to seeing what you do next!  It is very important that the world unite to fight these horrible diseases!  Check out Esperity when you get the chance to see how they are connecting survivors all over the world!

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