This is a story about two young kids, Ali Lambert and Mike Voron, who grew up only twenty minutes apart in the suburbs outside of Philadelphia. They attended the same Sunday school, where Mike’s mom taught Ali’s class. But they didn’t know each other then.
In 1994, when Ali was a junior in high school, she started losing her hair as a result of the autoimmune disease alopecia universalis. Around the same time, Mike was senior in high school writing about his experience growing up with a brother who had developmental, physical and emotional disabilities.
Years later, Ali visited friends at the University of Delaware where Mike attended college, and Mike visited friends at the University of Pennsylvania where Ali went to school, but their paths didn’t cross then. They both attended the same concerts along the east coast, and took trips with mutual friends, but they still hadn’t met.
Finally, in 2005, Mike and Ali both attended Jazz Fest in New Orleans, Louisiana, and they met late one night at a Karl Denson show. At that moment, Mike and Ali knew that there was a deep connection between them—something beyond words. But the words flowed just fine once they started talking. Eight hours later, they were still discussing life and love, sharing their respective stories, struggles, and beliefs in the importance of creating a positive footprint in the world. And, now, eleven years after that fateful night at the House of Blues, they’re still partners in life and love.
Ali and Mike got married in 2007. Shortly after their wedding, Ali began a four-year battle with ulcerative colitis, another autoimmune disease. Ali lost a vast percentage of her blood from complications related to the disease, overcame PCP pneumonia, and eventually had her colon removed. Shortly after Ali’s surgery, Mike’s mom passed away from brain cancer.
In the months that followed, Ali had another surgery, and Mike lost both his uncle and his grandmother. Needless to say, it was an extremely challenging year—physically, mentally, and emotionally. Many marriages wouldn’t have been able to withstand that kind of stress. But Ali and Mike survived, and more importantly, their core values of family, perseverance and positivity stuck with them. They knew from the moment they met that they were meant to share their lives, share their story and share their message with the world.
So, in 2015, Mike and Ali launched beYouLoveLife, a business with a mission to inspire people to love and accept themselves just as they are. beYouLoveLife’s flagship initiative, bYLLboard, is an online social community where people just like Ali and Mike can find inspiration and provide inspiration for others. It’s a place where people can discover genuine, user-created content to help them through life’s challenges, and connect with one another to see, hear, and feel the impact of their positive actions.
Join Ali and Mike on their mission to change the world by becoming a part of the bYLLboard community. Find inspiration, share your story, and spread the word about bYLLboard. Together we can create positive change, one story at a time.