About Me

John Abdulla

My lens is life after cancer. It is focused on living a meaningful life as a global citizen.

What is the meaning of life? That question hurts my brain. I prefer to instead think about these two: From where do we derive meaning in our lives? How can we live more meaningful lives?

Sure, the fact that I’m living after a potentially life-ending disease gives me a unique perspective on life, but it isn’t a superior perspective. We all have a lens through which we see and comprehend the world. This is mine. The more we open our lens, the more light we allow in and the more truth we can see in the world and in our self. This blog is my attempt to open my lens and share the view.


Views are all my own, but they are shaped by my background.

I am currently the Web Manager at Oxfam America, a global organization with a mission to which I am passionately committed: to end the injustice of poverty. I’m also a freelance filmmaker and web designer, both of which I’ve been doing for 10+ years and would love for you to check out on this site through the navigation above.

I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Curry College, a small school in Milton, MA that was founded in 1879 by Anna Baright Curry and Samuel Silas Curry, who said, “Respect your ideals. Dare to dream, but be not an idle dreamer.” With the hard work and support of faculty and students, I founded a college chapter of the ONE Campaign to Make Poverty History and raised funds to build a clean water well in a village in South Sudan where a fellow student grew up. We dreamed it and two years later, we did it.

In May of 2009, I graduated Curry College as valedictorian and with a diagnosis of testicular cancer. After surgery, I underwent chemotherapy treatment at the incredible Dana Farber Cancer Institute. It was then that I began this blog, as a way to share my experience with friends and family. It very quickly became much more though; a place where I could check-in with my self. Years later, cancer-free, it is still that place I can stop and check-in with my self and you. I sincerely hope there are words in this blog that carry meaning for you, but if nothing more I hope it can continue to be a place where I check-in and avoid idle dreaming, but rather live the spirit of Ubuntu; a meaningful life in this interconnected global village.

For my more full and more straightforward (boring!) resume, check out my LinkedIn profile.