Collectors Profile Story- May Ofrali

“ I knew growing up that I wanted to help people. I wanted to be of service to the most vulnerable population and fell in love with pediatrics. We are living in an exciting time in research and advancement, where curing a disease is becoming a reality. It is time for governments from around the world to work together to contain the spread of a possible pandemic and communicate with the general public in a transparent and clear way, to calm the possibility of a panic. Human lives are precious regardless of where people come from or live."

Q & A

A mother, a pharmaceutical and social executive. an Alexandra Mor jewelry collector, a Buddhist practitioner and an elephant lover— just to name a few qualities. Meet May Orfali, MD, a woman of many hats, who in her line of work contributing to world health, while carrying an extensive background in clinical programs with a focus on drug development across multiple rare disease assets and gene therapy. For this International Women’s Day, we had the pleasure to speak with May & learn how she does it all.

Q: What do you do in your everyday life that supports your values and creates balance? How does it resonate with your culture at home and religion?

"The teachings of HH the Dalai Lama helped me figure my way out after the sudden loss of my mom to cancer more than 25 years ago. Fast forward to today, my values are very much my foundation, where my family is my core, and making a difference in people's lives is what I hope to do every day for the rest of my life. "

 Q: You’ve been playing a major role in research and finding a cure for rare and unfunded diseases. What do you suggest for governments and individuals to help change the trajectory of our current health crisis into a better future?

"I knew growing up that I wanted to help people and biology was very interesting to me. I wanted to be of service to the most vulnerable populations and fell in love with pediatrics. I have lost many family members to cancer. It made me angry and made me want to be part of the solution rather than feeling hopeless. We are living in an exciting time in research and development advancements where curing a disease is becoming a reality. It is time for governments from around the world to work together to contain the spread of a possible pandemic and communicate with the general public in a transparent and clear way to calm the  possibility of a panic. Human lives are precious regardless of where people come from or live."

Q: I remember the day you told me you love elephants. What makes you feel that connection?

"I love elephants and it deeply saddens me to see human cruelty make a profit of their suffering and death. Elephants are elegant, majestic, caring and loving animals; you can feel the kindness in their eyes. When I learned about the ALEXANDRA MOR Tagua Seed Project and saw the beautiful pieces of jewelry made out of this natural seed instead of ivory, I was blown away. I fell in love with the carved Tagua Seed hoop earrings and feel like an ambassador of good every time I wear them."

Q: Tell me about your first connection to a piece of jewelry?

"I remember being fascinated with jewelry at a very young age. My mom wore beautiful statement pieces and so did many of her friends. I had my share of gold bracelets and necklaces and loved wearing them all the time."

 

 

Left: Alexandra and May Orfali
Middle : May wearing her Tagua seed hoop Earrings
Right: Tagua Hoop Earrings   

 

Q: You are a mother, a business woman, a warrior. This International Women’s Day is so important, probably one of the most important in years. Considering the #metoo movement and the rise of women in leadership roles, what else would you like to see change or evolve?

"I am encouraged by the rise of women in leadership roles and would like to see this trend continue to have equal representation of women and men in leadership. There is more work to be done in having women's voices respected and valued equally to her counterpart. I would like to see the day that women are truly respected for their talent, knowledge and expertise. I would like for gender identification to have no impact on the value we bring to the table. This is critical for us as humans and for our children's future. We all have an obligation to our girls to persevere and push boundaries to achieve equality in the workplace and society, and leave this world a better place."

Image: May's AM Bespoke MQ diamond Engagment ring " My most profound memory attached to a piece of jewelry has to be my experience with ALEXANDRA MOR when I got to redesign and create a one-of-a-kind piece with my wedding ring — an antique jewel that was passed through three generations in my family and was worn by my grandmother, my mother, and then me." -- May Orfali qbout her experiance redesigned her Marquise Diamond Family Heirloom Engagment Ring.


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