In my relatively short time at Southwest Airlines, I have seen why we are such a tight-knit Family that unconditionally loves and cares for each other. It's who we are as individuals who share the passion for Southwest’s Golden Rule to treat each other as you would want to be treated. We don’t just say it, we mean it and live it. However, I’ve realized something profound about our Family that puts a completely different twist on my perspective of our Company. At Southwest Airlines, we always get to hear the stories about how we as Employees help and support our Customers in their times of need. We hear a lot of stories about how our Employees help fellow Employees in their times of need. What you may not hear as often is how our Customers, you, help us (Southwest Employees) in our times of need. The stories are out there and they are numerous but it wasn’t until recently I discovered this entire new Family I had never known.
Many of you may have read my blog post earlier this year about the battle my nine-month-old daughter, Cadence, had been facing with a tumor on her brain stem. In short, doctors found a large tumor on her brain stem that was causing some extensive developmental issues and because of its location, was inoperable and could not even be diagnosed to determine if it was cancerous. It was my Family at Southwest Airlines who not only provided endless emotional support but thanks to the Catastrophic Assistance donations from my coworkers, we were able to provide all the necessary tests and MRIs we needed to help our daughter fight her battle.
When I made the decision to share this story with all of you on Nuts, I received numerous messages via Facebook, email, blog comments, and even tweets offering support and assistance but not only from my Coworkers but from you, our Customers! The outpouring of support touched my wife and I and we cannot thank everyone enough for the thoughts, prayers and support of every kind. I am so excited to share the wonderful and miraculous news!
Cadence had another MRI to track the growth of the tumor to find out if it would be necessary to do surgery despite the risks of paralysis if it was in fact growing. Much to our surprise and joy, the results showed the tumor was shrinking! The doctors at Dallas Children’s Medical Center agree that it appears that despite some challenges early in life, she is going to grow up to be a healthy girl who will one day beat her Mommy and Daddy’s swimming times across the board!
I don’t know of many companies that can truly call their Coworkers "Family". I definitely don’t know of any companies that can call their Customers "Family," but that is exactly why we are so fortunate to have each other and have you on this flight of life.
To my own Family, the Nields and VanDriels, my Coworkers, and to our Customers: thank you. Without a doubt, we are Family.