We had the good fortune of connecting with Amber Barbach and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amber, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I don’t think of “risk” as a negative term; rather, I consider it an opportunity. The word Risk is defined as: a situation that exposes you to danger, but when used in the business world, I prefer to think of it as going after an opportunity. It was drummed into me from a young age that perseverance is crucial, as well as the idea that you won’t obtain what you desire by just sitting around and waiting for it to happen. This mindset encouraged me to be quite entrepreneurial at a young age and to constantly develop new projects, work on new ideas and never refuse a unique chance at learning something.
A few months after my father passed away from an aggressive brain cancer called glioblastoma (GBM), I incorporated my nonprofit organization. Strangely enough, I didn’t go “public” with it until nine months later. I kept telling myself that this nonprofit would be a great success, especially since it was so personal to me, yet I was petrified to begin. Looking back now, I couldn’t be more grateful that I took that chance. The organization has made significant progress in GBM research thanks to critical funding and has benefited many people all around the world as a result.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
The Glioblastoma Research Organization is my nonprofit and my greatest pride and joy. I founded the organization back in 2018 after my father passed away from glioblastoma, also known as GBM. I wanted it to be a hub for information and community that my mother and I were missing while dealing with my father’s diagnosis. I wanted to bring a more contemporary approach to the nonprofit and cancer research sectors, as well as leverage my background in marketing and brand partnerships to raise awareness and funds to help doctors in searching for a cure. I think what sets the organization apart is its community and content. Community wise, we’ve created a network of over 14,000 people globally that interact with our digital media.
If you’re someone who is looking for other people that understand exactly what you’re going through, it is the perfect organization to connect with on social media to have meaningful conversations about this illness. Although it is a research funding nonprofit, our team tries to keep things as simple as possible for our supporters in an attempt to make complicated brain cancer verbiage easier to understand. With a mission to raise awareness and funds for new, global, cutting-edge research to help find a cure for glioblastoma, our nonprofit is open and honest in its efforts.
Looking at the organization as a whole, I don’t believe there’s just one thing that I’m particularly proud of – to be honest, I’m just ecstatic that the organization exists and that I was able to provide exactly what I felt was lacking for this community. We get a lot of messages from people all over the world telling us how grateful they are that we brought this resource to light, how much they appreciate us sharing their stories, and how they’ve connected with others in the community. It’s just amazing to think that this information wasn’t accessible for families battling glioblastoma four years ago when my father was ill.
It took years of work to get the organization where it is now, and every day is a new lesson. I’m grateful for the tremendous support, volunteers and an outstanding team that has helped guide the organization forward.
According to the National Brain Tumor Society, an estimated 72,360 adults age 40 and over will be diagnosed with a primary brain tumor in the United States in 2022. The most prevalent adult brain tumors are gliomas, such as glioblastoma. There needs to be greater awareness of GBM brain cancer. At times, conversation sparks with the public following the tragic deaths of prominent celebrities – such as the recent passing of Tom Parker from The Wanted, who I personally was a huge fan of. However, I believe that, through our collective effort, it will one day be as well recognized and spoken about as breast cancer is in our society.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Miami is a great city with a vibrant culture and an exciting culinary scene. KYU, Sushi Yasu Tanaka, Mignonette, and Phuc Yea are some of my favorite restaurants. I wish I could say I enjoyed Miami nightlife more, but I really am a daytime person and enjoy taking a trip to the beach, or biking around. If you have a friend in town, I would recommend doing something as simple as taking a bike ride down South Pointe Park to get a view of the city. I also love spending time at Soho House when I want to enjoy time with friends, or get work done by the beach.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I believe that most of my drive for success and entrepreneurial spirit comes from my dad, so it’s safe to say he deserves most of the credit – alongside my ballet teacher growing up, Vladimir.
Every other day, my father would come home and talk about a new business idea with my mother and I over dinner. When I was growing up, he was the head of a large diagnostic testing company. Later, he relaunched his chiropractic practice and worked seven days a week while still balancing family and life. He had a notebook of hundreds of business ideas, and was constantly connecting with those around him to share them and see what he’d be able to materialize.
He was considerate enough to include me in these conversations and to seek my advice even though I was young. He’d ask me for ideas on how to expand his business, what new programs he might offer and was always working to improve and advance up his illusory success ladder. It spoke to his character that when he was still in the hospital post-brain surgery, he was working on creating a mold detection service in South Florida. He always challenged me to think of new ways to do something, and while he didn’t necessarily sit me down and teach me about starting my own business, seeing his creativity and the way he conducted business inspired me.
On the other hand, my dance instructor Vladimir never allowed me to give up. I was dancing for 18 years of my life and would practice for four to seven hours each day, so when I didn’t do something at 100 percent – I had to repeat it over again until it was flawless – this was tough, but it has definitely impacted how I approach my nonprofit, or an idea for a business.