"I am 12. I am Kait. I am brave. I beat cancer. I am loved."
This photo of Kaitlyn greets me every morning as I sit down to start my day at Southwest Airlines. Kaitlyn is not just any girl, she is the daughter of one of my fellow Co-Hearts, Erika Perry in Southwest’s People Department, and I have had the privilege to watch her grow up in my time serving the People of the LUV airline as the Chief People Officer. Not too long ago, Kaitlyn was diagnosed with leukemia, and it gives me pure joy to say that she beat it. Seeing the bravery through Erika’s eyes as this little girl triumphed over this disease makes me humble and gives me a perspective on life to embrace the small things and go after the important things.
I’ve recently been appointed to the Make-A-Wish America National Board—an organization that Southwest sponsors nationally. Southwest provides travel to help make these special wishes for children facing life-threatening medical conditions come true. I cannot think of a more gratifying pursuit than taking away the stress of facing a serious illness for a moment in order to experience a dream that will fund a lifetime of blissful memories.
As Make-A-Wish continues in their mission to allow children facing serious illness to be anything their hearts desire, I’m excited to bring my background of leadership and administration combined with the passion for People that we all have here at Southwest to make a positive difference on the Make-A-Wish America National Board.