My 100th Birthday Thank You to IBM

Posted by Frank Fillmore on June 16, 2011 under TFG Blog, Uncategorized. Tags: .

I saw IBM’s 100th birthday celebration made CNN’s homepage today.  It’s quite a compliment to the people, past and present, who  made IBM successful, and enabled the company to thrive consistently.  IBM has contributed so much great technology to our world over the years. 

As the daughter of a career IBM salesman, Russ May, my family moved around as I was growing up (in the 60’s and 70’s IBM stood for, “I’ve Been Moved”) and finally settled in Baltimore.  At the age of 23 I was working across the street from my dad’s office at 100 E Pratt when I was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer and given three months to live.  The doctors at Johns Hopkins recommended I try, as a last ditch effort, a chemotherapy regimen, and I agreed.  I was scheduled to recieve treatments each morning, Monday through Friday, one week a month.

While scans and bloodwork indicated I was very ill, outwardly I felt OK, and was turned down for disability.  To continue my health insurance, I had to continue working while receiving treatment.  I was scared and afraid I wouldn’t be able to handle it.

The day before my first treatment my dad came home and handed me a white parking pass to the IBM garage.  A group of his co-workers knew I was sick and receiving treatment, and worked up a schedule to rotate sharing their passes so I could park in their garage, right across the street from where I worked, the days I had treatment.  As sales reps who had to be in and out of the building throughout the workday, this was quite an inconvenience.  And for me, an unbelievable luxury, as I didn’t have to park and walk several blocks to my office when I was battling the nausea caused by the chemo.

Their generosity really touched me.  Of course, I wouldn’t be writing this if there wasn’t a happy ending for me – the chemo treatments worked. 

Thank you IBM for all your great employees.  Happy Birthday!

1 Comment so far

  1. Lynne June 17, 2011 1:47 pm

    Wow on two counts, their kindness and your success (I’m not going to call it luck).

    Yup, happy birthday IBM (my blood runs blue).

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