Posts by Gabriel Noble
The No Worries Now Prom brings sick teens together
When Fred Scarf was 15 years old, he lost one of his closest friends, Sheri, to cancer. "I felt like I died inside," he said, "and I knew I had to do something big. I was driven." With their plans of going to their high school prom together tragically derailed, he was inspired to throw a prom for teens with cancer. What started out in 2006 as 20 patients having the time of their lives for one special night has now grown to hosting annual proms in five cities. The resulting nonprofit is called No Worries Now, reflecting its mission to immediately improving the lives of teens with life-threatening illnesses. To date, over 3,000 teenagers have attended proms thrown by No Worries Now.
Marta Belcher, the executive director of No Worries Now, emphasizes that “For teens who have been in and out of the hospital the opportunity to let go and dance and celebrate life is a really meaningful experience."
Pro Surfer Israel Paskowitz Uses His Unique Expertise to Help Autistic Children
It was a summer day in 1969 on Tourmaline Canyon Beach in San Diego, when Israel “Izzy” Paskowitz fell in love with surfing. He was 6 when his father, legendary surfer Dorian “Doc” Paskowitz, took him out to ride together on his board. “I will never forget that wave,” says Izzy, “it was my kick off into the tribe.” Considered the first family of surfing, Izzy is the fourth of nine children of Doc and Juliette. They lived a nomadic life in a 24-foot camper and traveled the country for roughly 23 years.
Izzy naturally became a pro surfer. In 1983 he beat legends of the sport and soon became a world champion long-boarder. He won national and international events, including Australia’s Coke Classic Championship and the Hang Ten Classic. At the height of his career he landed a Nike cover ad standing next to Bo Jackson, Michael Jordan and Andre Agassi.
A doctor who is on-call throughout the developing world!
When Benjamin LaBrot was in second grade in Southern California, he told his class that when he grew up he wanted to be two things: a doctor and a marine biologist. His teacher told him he had to choose one, but he was determined to combine his love of the ocean with his desire to help people.
He started achieving his goals in junior high school, when he worked on sport and commercial fishing boats and the Marine Science Floating Laboratory vessel as a research diver. This led him to become certified as an emergency medical technician and a scuba dive buddy for divers with paraplegia, quadriplegia or blindness.
Throughout his schooling, he and his peers went on personal medical missions all over the developing world. After college he moved to Ireland and joined the global medicine program at the Royal College of Surgeons.
To this day, Floating Doctors has treated approximately 20,000 patients in three countries.
"Imagine a world where when the sun goes down, that's the end of your day as well. You can no longer see," says Jessica Matthews, the 25-year-old co-founder of Uncharted Play. "That is the reality for 1.3 billion people—practically one-fifth of the world—and one that we set out to solve."
The result is the Soccket, a soccer ball that harnesses kinetic energy with every kick to it and can power a lamp for three hours from just 30 minutes of play. It all started in 2008 when Matthews andJulia Silverman, juniors at Harvard University, were paired together in an engineering class for nonengineers. The professor challenged them to create something that combined art and science to ease a global problem.
"In the developing world, the ball becomes a symbol of empowerment," Matthews said. "It's about your happiness in the now [while playing], and a hope for a better tomorrow."