Filipino bet Louie Sangalang made the most out of the recent business challenge by connecting on a more personal level with his clients and partner organization.
Teaming up with co-finalist Jessica Ramella of Venezuela, the duo came up with a mobile application and a chatbot that will help cancer-diagnosed children through non-profit support organization LOVE, NILS.
And as a cancer survivor himself, Sangalang, 43, made a lasting impact with the proposal by recalling his early bout with cancer.
“Cancer’s not really a disease that’s very easy to cure. That’s the first thing and it’s not a disease that is cheap to cure, right. So there’s only so many financial resources required to go through treatment, to be able to go through so many things for your recovery,” said Sangalang.
“What amazed me about the business challenge is the fact that we were approaching the challenge from a different perspective. We’re approaching it from a perspective that most cancer patients go through it but are not necessarily treated as such.
“Because it has a psychosocial aspect of it, you know. When people are becoming so desperate, they really want to live, they’re just so scared that they’re going to, you know, pass away. And this creates so much dysphoria, to say this word, in your head.”
Sangalang knew that too well after overcoming appendiceal cancer at the age of 23.
For the former mixed martial arts champion, the recent business task has allowed technology to showcase its positive usage by reconnecting people, especially for their target clients.
LOVE, NILS is a Singapore-based organization founded by Lesli Berggren. She named the foundation in memory of her son Nils, who was diagnosed with stage 4 lymphoma cancer at the age of 13 in 2012.
After overcoming cancer, Nils passed away months later due to complications from a stem cell transplant.
Taking inspiration and courage from LOVE, NILS’ foundation, Sangalang and Ramella decided to name the bot Claire, Nil’s twin sister, and the chatbot Nil’s Pals.
“Working with Louie and Jessica was just so heartwarming. It’s really interesting when you get an audience to like these really amazing candidates, and there was this connection with Louie, that was really incredible,” said Berggren.
“He looks at you directly in the eye, you see, calm, but there’s so much determination and so much bravery behind it. And I didn’t know that he had cancer until he told me during the interview later that he had been on this cancer journey. And my heart just went out to him.”
That said, Sangalang and Ramella are already finals-bound in “The Apprentice” but only “The One” is set to become the protege of ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong and the company’s chief of staff.