To the general eye, jgwkia looks like a random bunch of letters. To the Salesforce.com team, it’s a familiar rally cry for a much loved employee. It stands for “JG Will Kick Its ___” (fill in the blank). The “it” is acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), an aggressive form of blood cancer that Salesforce.com employee John Greene (aka JG) has been successfully fighting since last November. Salesforce.com is supporting JG as he defies his cancer. The company held a bone marrow drive earlier this year, and just kicked off their Light The Night Walk fundraising team, which will walk beside JG at the San Francisco Walk this Thursday.
Salesforce.com recently held three kickoff events, one for each Salesforce.com building, to inspire employees to participate in Light The Night Walk. JG shared his story via a slide show presentation set to music. The show included photos of his major life events including his childhood; his wedding day; the birth of their first son Floyd, which coincided with the Phillies World Series win; the birth of their second son, Orion; JG’s 40th birthday; and their fun family trip to Mexico. It also included a chronicle of his cancer journey – the hair loss, treatments and hospital stays.
His co-workers alternately laughed and welled up. Many were inspired to rally their respective departments to participate in Light The Night Walk. Sub-teams within departments have emerged, including a Giants fan group walking to support JG.
JG was diagnosed on November 8, 2010. Given the aggressive nature of his leukemia, treatment started three days later. By the end of December, JG’s doctors at UCSF decided that he needed a bone marrow transplant.
The Salesforce.com team rallied around him, organizing a Be The Match Marrow Registry drive in January 2011 that yielded nearly 400 additions to the National Marrow Registry and even made the local news.
A match was found, and JG’s “day one” with a new immune system was March 30, 2011. Today, roughly six months out from his transplant, his leukemia is in remission and he’s back at work and inspiring other Salesforce.com workers to join him for the Light The Night Walk.
Talk about inspiring!
Walk with JG and the Salesforce.com team this Thursday, October 20th at the San Francisco Light The Night Walk. The festivities start at 5:00pm at Union Square. For more information, visit www.lightthenight.org/sf.