OpenText Careers & Culture

Happy International Women’s Day!

International Women's Day

It’s March 8 and that means time to celebrate the amazing women across the globe. More importantly, it is time to recognize the positive effects of diversity in our lives. This year’s theme is #BeBoldforChange. Being bold doesn’t mean you need to the loudest or most well-spoken, it means holding true to your beliefs. It means not being afraid to use your voice. It means not being what you are expected to be and being who you are. This is not a recent addition to society. In fact, according to Wikipedia, the first International Women’s Day in the United States was observed on February 28, 1909! This isn’t a new thing, the strength of diversity is woven in the history of culture, with many “firsts” resulting from people being who they were and breaking molds. Susan B. Anthony: An advocate for women’s suffrage, women’s property rights and the abolition of slavery, in 1872 she tried to vote in the Presidential election. While Anthony was never able to legally vote, the 19th amendment, ratified in 1920, was named the “Susan B. Anthony Amendment.” Marie Curie: The first woman Professor of General Physics in the Faculty of Sciences at the Sorbonne in 1906. Madame Curie was also the first person to win two Nobel Prizes in Physics in 1903 and in Chemistry in 1911 for her work in radioactivity. Wangari Muaathai: A Kenyan scientist, professor, environmental and political activist who was the first woman in East or Central Africa to earn a doctorate degree. She is credited with founding a community initiative that seeks to empower women through civic education and environmental stewardship. Mae Jemison: An American physician and the first African-American female astronaut. These women represent only a few who have created change in our world. They were unafraid to do things differently and they have paved the way for change. There are so many examples throughout history and there will be no shortage moving forward. At OpenText, we celebrate diversity. We encourage everyone to use their voice and #BeBoldforChange. Through structured programs and our everyday culture, our values reflect this. To find out more from our CEO Mark Barrenechea on diversity, read his blog celebrating International Women’s Day. Today of all days, be brave, be bold and, be yourself.

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A Day in the Life of an OpenText Technical Support Specialist

Wondering what it’s like to be part of the Global Technical Services team at OpenText? Philippines Technical Support Employee of the Month and Q2 Employee Award winner, Prances Jehan Villenas, offers insight into what a typical day looks like for a Technical Support Specialist in the Philippines: — 10:00 am – Rise and shine! First things first, I check out my e-mails and do a quick 15 minute exercise to jump-start my day. From there, I grab brunch and start getting ready for work. 1:00 pm – Arrive at work and plan for the day I get in to work right after lunch. My hours match those of my European colleagues and clients, which means my typical work day is from about 1 pm to 10 pm in Manila. Starting late is a nice perk because it means I get to skip the rush hour traffic during my commute. Once in the office, my day starts by catching up on emails and drafting out my to-do list for the day with any deliverables. 2:00 pm – Check reports and follow-up with clients After clearing my inbox and making my daily plan, I run through reports to check where I can follow up or send any updates to clients. It’s important to me that clients know we are actively handling any concerns and I want to update them on our progress and status regularly. 3:00 pm – Metrics review and special projects management Another of my responsibilities is to stay on top of our team’s data analytics to further improve our team’s overall operational metrics. I also dedicate this time earlier in my work day to accomplishing any special projects assigned to me, such as process improvements, innovations, employee engagement work, and much more. 5:00 pm – Client meetings Whenever I have client meetings, it’s normally during this time. 5 pm in Makati City is first thing in the morning for our clients in Europe. 6:00 pm – Dinner Over dinner, I take the time to catch up with my colleagues and friends. Sometimes we head out to grab dinner at one of the nearby restaurants or we eat together in the OpenText cafeteria. No matter where we are, I always enjoy taking the time to pause and enjoy a little chitchat while we share our food. 7:00 pm – Meeting with co-leads and my senior manager I spend time working with my senior manager and co- leads each day, thinking about ways we can improve as a team. During this time, we brainstorm, debate, learn from each other, and ultimately make priority-based decisions to benefit our team and clients. I love this group! They are my support system. 8:00 pm – Plan out OpenText Philippines social activities One of the best parts about being an OpenText employee is that our company balances out work with different fun activities and events year-round.  Through these initiatives we are able to showcase our different talents: singing, dancing, making art, or playing sports. You name the activity, we have it! A few of my favorites are the annual Corporate-Kick Off event, off-site team building, Halloween celebrations, the Year-End Party and Sports Fest. I’ve been actively involved with a number of these initiatives as either a performer or organizer and I’ve enjoyed every part of it. Here are a few photos from the celebrations I’ve been part of:     The pictures say it all: OpenText is indeed the best place to work! 9:00 pm – Coaching and touching base with team members I have a relatively small team and I see to it that I’m able to engage with every team member each day. This gives me the opportunity to see what everyone is working on and to make sure we can address any issues. I’ve found that challenges of all kinds are easier to deal with when you have clear channels of communication with your team. 10:00 pm – Heading Home My husband picks me up from work every day. While travelling home, we spend our time having a late snack and catching up on each other’s day! As you can see, OpenText is a busy and exciting place to be. While I have a lot of responsibilities to fulfill at work, I always look forward to the next day as I enjoy every moment of it. OpenText is my second home and my colleagues are my family away from home. — Find out more about working at OpenText and view current opportunities by visiting our Careers Page.

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Patricia’s OpenText Story: Finding My Fit

Meet Patricia Buenaflor, Senior Mapping Analyst, based in the Philippines. Patricia joined OpenText straight out of college. Six years later, Patricia reflects on her career journey and the path she took to achieve growth and success. Finding the right career path I joined the OpenText team as a Mapping Developer, building out application integration maps for clients to transfer data between our customers and their trading partners. In my role, I worked closely with the technical analysts on our team and learned that this was the area I really wanted to be working in. In addition to experiencing the technical side, as an analyst, I would have the chance to understand and experience the business side of things more fully. After a year at OpenText, I was given the opportunity to become a Mapping Analyst, and my daily work changed. I was now working on the other side of the mapping team spectrum – gathering and validating client requirements to hand over to the mapping developers. Opportunities for travel and growth My career change paid off! Since I had gained end-to-end experience as both a developer and an analyst, I was picked to join and help form the Quick Response Team in Manila. This is a specialist team able to carry out quick end-to-end fixes: from analysis to development to deployment. It was challenging and it pushed me to learn new skills. I was then sent to the UK to share my knowledge with OpenText colleagues in Reading. I spent six amazing months in the UK before returning to Manila, where the opportunities kept coming! The management team believed in me and I was promoted to a Senior Analyst role and team lead for our Non-Retail Analysis team, composed of 25 people. Becoming a leader This new role was a big stretch for me. I was used to doing more technical work, not managing people! But thanks to my family, my colleagues, and my managers, I gained confidence and took on the bigger responsibility. It has been a great experience – it’s fulfilling to be able to help and mentor others. It’s such a joy to see others grow under my watch. My growth with OpenText has helped me learn a number of things. Most importantly though, I now know not to be afraid to push myself outside of my comfort zone, as this has been my ticket to personal growth and success. And now, as a new door opens yet again, I’m preparing to take on a new role as Supervisor for Professional Services Mapping. I’m very excited to see what else I can bring to the table here at OpenText. — Interested in starting your own OpenText journey? Take a look at our Careers page for more information and to view current opportunities.

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From Intern to Full-Time: My Career Journey with OpenText

Piyush Aswani has had an exciting career journey with OpenText: from intern to full-time developer, and from his home town to Hyderabad and then to Bangalore. Here Piyush shares what his OpenText experience has been like to date. — I joined OpenText as an intern on Monday, February 2, 2015. It was my first job and I was so excited to move to Hyderabad and start my career in software. My internship program ran for around two months, during which time I learned a lot and made many new friends. Living in Hyderabad was an exciting new phase of my life. Hyderabad was close to my home town and filled with people I knew. At the end of my internship, I was asked to interview for a full-time Software Engineer position with OpenText at the Bangalore office. After clearing two technical interviews, I got the position! Getting the job was exciting – but there were a lot of other emotions there too. Moving to Bangalore was a bit of a scary thought as I’m not always comfortable with new people right away and I felt like I would have to start all over again making friends. However, I could see from my experience as an intern that I would gain many chances to grow professionally with this organization. Moving to Bangalore to work as a developer would be a huge step forward in my career. I decided to make the move and launch my full-time career with OpenText. It was worth the risk. I have been working and learning in Bangalore for one and a half years now. My colleagues made me feel at home here right away. The people I work with were so friendly right from the beginning, and this team has become like a second family to me.  OpenText is a home away from home, and every day is a joy to come in to work. I am now part of a committee that organizes activities for colleagues outside of work too, which helps me to meet even more people from around the organization! All in all, my experience with OpenText has been a positive one. I’ve learned so much about how an organization functions and the skills I need to be a success in my life and career – all while meeting new people, breaking through my comfort zone, and getting to know an amazing new city that I now call home. I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next for me at OpenText! Are you looking for a new adventure and a great place to grow your career? Visit our Careers site to find out more and take a look at the current opportunities available.

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A Day in the Life of an OpenText Account Development Representative

User Experience

Anita Pejkovic, an Account Development Representative (ADR) based out of our Waterloo headquarters, offers a snapshot into working at OpenText. Here’s a typical day in the life of an ADR, as described by Anita: 6:30 am – Rise and shine I check my emails first thing in the morning. Since I cover the West Coast of the US, the time difference means that there’s always something in my inbox first thing. 7:00 am – Get ready for the day! Our office is business casual, which makes it comfortable and easy to get ready each morning – so I can just focus on making that perfect cup of morning coffee. 8:30 am – Arrive at work and begin to call prospects Our team starts the day by making calls at the same time in a light, fun, and motivating atmosphere. Having co-workers “creating noise” as well allows for a driven environment where you can feed off of each other’s energy. 10:00 am – Prospecting follow up and coffee break During this time, I do all my follow-up emails. Completing this task early in the day ensures my emails will be one of the first in the prospect’s inbox (due to the time difference on the West coast) and it complements the phone call or voice mail I just left. Oh yeah, I typically take a quick coffee break around this time! How spoiled are we to have Starbucks machines at work? 11:00 am – Calls with Account Executives I’ve learned a lot from the Account Executives I work with – they share best practices on how to manage and really own the work I do. Our calls typically cover prospecting efforts, follow-up contacts, new projects, ongoing initiatives, unique ways to approach accounts, and weekend plans. 1:00 pm – Lunch at Café-O Somewhere between 1 and 2 pm, I take a break for lunch. OpenText has THE best lunch options. If you’re buying lunch, the options are endless. The café always has a ton of choices available at a great price. There are made-to-order sandwiches or wraps; custom stir-frys, taco bowls, or pastas; daily soups; a variety of pre-made salads; rotating entrees; and a number of other favourites available every day. 2:00 pm – Research and account development After chatting with my Account Executives, I have a solid direction to focus my energy on for the remainder of the day. I’m ready to start digging! At this point, I map out my “relationship footprint” for a particular account and strategically plan how to leverage my footprint to prospect new efforts. 3:45 pm – Ping-Pong break My co-workers are better than me by far, but practice makes perfect. One day, I will beat them! 4:00 pm – Prepare for the next day I usually wrap up my current work day by preparing for the following one. Whether it’s setting up calls for the next morning, organizing account follow up, or gathering contacts to invite to an event, staying on top of your next day is important in this role. 5 pm – Heading home I pick a “ride home” playlist on my iPod and relax to my favorite tunes on my short drive home. Later in the evening, I’ll train in martial arts, as I do most nights, and then spend some time relaxing with my family before starting it all over again!     Does Anita’s role and work life sound appealing? We’re currently hiring talented and outgoing individuals like Anita for Account Development Representative and Account Development Manager positions around the globe. Take a look at opportunities on our Careers site:  http://ow.ly/wKGN306TUqt

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Building a Software Sales Career

Fast track to sales…               I joined the OpenText team in 2003.  My first lead-generation role involved “farming” the existing customer base to identify and progress opportunities. I would also nurture new prospect accounts to discover potential projects where OpenText could support a customer’s business goals. Initially working with several Account Executives, I had the chance to observe different styles and approaches to sales and customer experience. In this role, I learned all the key skills for digital solution selling. Within two years, I was closing deals on behalf of the Account Executives.  I had effectively been given the responsibility to work with customers inside the decision-making cycle – from finding the opportunity all the way through to getting contracts signed. Strength to strength I’m now a Senior Account Executive within our Enterprise team, responsible for a number of key accounts.  My objective is to drive additional revenue and expand the OpenText footprint across some of our largest customers. This involves managing direct relationships with my accounts and also the development and management of partnerships with third-party organisations – ranging from global consultancies to local companies with domain expertise. I have been able to consistently hit annual targets (once being the top global license generator!) and have been fortunate enough to attend a number of our Sales Achiever’s club trips awarded to OpenText’s top performing sales people. Whirlwind learning with the support of a great team! I’ve been lucky enough to work with some brilliant colleagues at OpenText – people who know their jobs inside-out and who are also genuinely great fun to work alongside. The company has grown very quickly and we continue to develop our products and solutions offerings for our customers.  I’m learning all the time and it’s the team around me which has made my time at OpenText so enjoyable and truly contributed to my success.   Article by Nick Lund, Senior Account Executive   — Interested in Nick’s journey? Looking to join our winning team? We currently have Account Development Representative and Account Development Manager positions available globally, that can fast track your career in sales or marketing. Take a look at our current opportunities.

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The Intern(al) View on Life at OpenText

Hi there! My name is Emma Schmidt, and I am the Communications Assistant for the Employee Communications team at OpenText headquarters in Waterloo. I am deeply passionate about all things communications – and particularly employee communications, which has been a huge area of interest for me. I love bringing people together and playing a part in making OpenText a great place to be. This blog series is yet another opportunity to develop my skills and tell the OpenText story. It’s a chance for me to share my experiences and give you a sneak peek into the life of an OpenText intern. Working for OpenText has been an incredible journey thus far; it has been an internship like no other. In the past, when I heard the word “internship”, I envisioned tasks like standing at the photocopy machine for hours, or dashing out of cafés with trays full of coffee in hand. But, my time at OpenText has been far from that. During one of my first weeks here, my director called me into her office. She smiled at me from across her desk and said, “I heard that you’re a photographer! Well, I’ve got a job for you!” Little did I know that she was about to ask me to take a photo for an upcoming National Post article that was all about OpenText’s globally-recognized corporate culture. I tried to play it cool and replied with a simple, “Of course, I can certainly do that.” But, on the inside, I was squealing like a little kid entering Disneyland. This story is just one of many that truly demonstrates what this experience has meant to me so far. Every day brings a new opportunity for me to learn, grow, be creative, and take initiative. Next up, I’ll be talking about my experience with the OpenText soccer team, so stay tuned for that! Until then, Emma   About the author: Emma is a Public Relations student from Conestoga College in Ontario, Canada. She is currently interning for the Employee Communications team at OpenText headquarters in Waterloo. She loves playing a part in making OpenText a great place to work. About Emma’s internship: Does Emma’s position sound like a dream job? Keep an eye out for OpenText job postings on your school’s co-operative education or intern job board – and visit our Careers page for more information about life at OpenText.

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Light The Night: My Story – Jim Wilson

While OpenText spends a lot of time focused on the digital transformation happening, we sometimes need to address the transformations taking place within people. Hardship strikes us all and we all have our journeys. In this series, I focus on telling these stories. This is Jim Wilson’s. *** A ten year span – first lymphoma and then leukemia. Something I never saw coming. Growing up, cancer never really personally impacted me as I didn’t really know anyone close or have any family members battling it. That all changed when a close friend was diagnosed with lymphoma. What was originally thought to be a hockey injury, ended up being a battle for his life. Unfortunately, he lost the battle a few short months later, leaving a wife and four children behind. I have witnessed the impact it had on his family first-hand. I remember visiting him in the hospital in his last days and being shocked at the physical transformation of his body as this terrible disease progressed. That was over ten years ago and I still miss him very much but I see a part of his legacy living on through his amazing wife and children who are now young adults. Today, I have another friend who is battling leukemia, with rounds of chemo and a stem cell transplant. I see the traumatic impact it has on his wife, children, extended family and friends, some of whom are unable to travel to be with him. I pray that all the treatment he is getting will be successful and I have faith that he will overcome his leukemia. Ten years later, the world has changed thanks to research that has led to innovation. I choose hope. And I choose to participate in the Light the Night walk in memory of those who have lost their lives to lymphoma and leukemia, and in support of my friend that is battling leukemia right now. It is a great opportunity to rally around the community and support those who are going through a really tough time. I hope that my involvement can in some way bring additional visibility of cancer research to Canadians and others around the world and encourage others to support this very worthy cause. Visit my page to donate!

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Light The Night: My Story – Aamna Syed

While OpenText spends a lot of time focused on the digital transformation happening, we sometimes need to address the transformations taking place within people. Hardship strikes us all and we all have our journeys. In this series, I focus on telling these stories. This is Aamna Syed’s. *** My first cousin. I grew up with him most of my life and he was like a brother to me. Back in 2002, he passed away. He was only 42 years old. Young, with two wonderful children: a son at fifteen and an eight year old daughter. It was difficult for us to comprehend children growing up without their father. He was my mentor and very influential. We shared milestones together. He taught me how to ride a bike and also drive a car. In fact, he took me for my road test. He was all about family; supporting the girls to become independent, educated- to be the best person we can be and pursue our dreams. To lose someone that influential and passionate is a hardship. Although he spent the last days at home, when he took very ill, he was transferred to the hospital. I lived close enough to walk to the hospital which I did every day. Something compelled me to be there. He worked as a chemical engineer and suffered in poor health. But his illness was directly related to a family history of cancer. When he was diagnosed, he passed away in less than a year with an aggressive form of leukemia. And as a student of science, along the way, he did research himself and was very particular with what treatment he would allow. On his last day, he was not the person I knew, and something told me to stay at the hospital. And I was alone in his room – he didn’t know what was going on and started to speak as if his son was there but he was away at boarding school and rushing back from Ottawa in desperation to be with his father. In the middle of night, he had his last conversation with me, thinking I was his son. I was the chosen one, listening to his last dying words. I was very emotional. He focus was on how proud and strong his son was. True to his nature, he was always giving advice. “You have so much potential in your life. Take care of your mother and sister because now, you are the man of the house.” In the undertones, he was scared because he knew there was not much time. I realized then, I was losing my mentor. And shortly after he lost consciousness, I remained holding his hand, waiting for him to wake up and speak again. He passed away early in the morning. And I was alone with him, struggling to remember what he said so I could communicate it to his son. I etched his words to memory, and when his son arrived late, it was I who sat him down and told him everything his father wanted him to know. Four months ago, the son, who received his dying father’s message, from my lips to his ear, was diagnosed with the same illness. My nephew is only twenty-nine and in treatment. And I was the first one he called. We will always have a connection because of the responsibility his dad passed to me. On a brief trip back home after finishing grad school, he fell in love with a girl who has since become his wife. In the process of her sponsorship, he was diagnosed. He is strong and already showing signs of improvement after a bone marrow transplant but it’s still a long journey. They talk daily and the motivation to be united with her this November and live a normal life – to be married, have children and see them grow — is the single driver to his survival. I am walking in memory of someone and in support of two very special people in my life. For the father whose message I conveyed to his son. And for the son who dreams of becoming a father one day. Light the Night is very important to me and even though it has been fourteen years since my cousin’s death, we have progressed and evolved in research and science. I worked the last five years in the health care sector at Sick Kids Hospital and one of the reasons I did was to give back to our community. Even though my cousin was not a child, if detected early in life, we could have administered preventative treatment. That is why I will walk on Oct 19. Walk with me. Walk for everyone. Walk for life. Visit my page to donate!

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Light The Night: My Story – Rana Aluraibi

While OpenText spends a lot of time focused on the digital transformation happening, we sometimes need to address the transformations taking place within people. Hardship strikes us all and we all have our journeys. In this series, I focus on telling these stories. This is Rana Aluraibi’s. *** “I am the face of leukemia.” My heart went out to him as silent tears slipped down my cheek. It was a very different Enterprise World this year. In July 2016, I received a call from my customer at that time, a great OpenText champion and member of our Elite program, telling me that he was not attending. It had to be a major reason because just 2 months ago we were discussing the event and I knew he was super excited to network, meet other customers, learn and share his ideas with OpenText experts. For several years, this was an event he never missed. Until this year. To my shock, he told me he was calling from Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto. I remember my breathing getting heavier and everything around me stopped. “I’ve been diagnosed with leukemia.” And that day, changed everything for me. It changed the face of leukemia, knowing very well that my CEO has gone through this. And it made it even more personal. The irony behind it all came on Wednesday September 8, the day we launched the Light the Night walk. I received a text from Rod, who coincidentally happened to be in the neighborhood that day, and wanted to stop by. I was overcome with emotion as he asked to come and join us as we listened to Mark and other experts speak to OpenText employees worldwide about the research that is being done to find a cure. In our gathering with OpenText colleagues that day, we instantly became one, in our support for Mark. I remember glancing over at Rod, who was accompanied by his wife Eileen, listening intently. Dr. Spagnuolo spoke about an experimental treatment that has extended the lifespan of those with rare forms of leukemia. I looked at Eileen, his partner in life, supporting him and as a loved one, going through a hard time, and watched her wipe her tears as Rod supported her. Such a tough journey for all. “I am the face of leukemia.” At that moment, Rod became an instant spokesperson as he stood up and spoke eloquently from the heart. Rod is not just a customer of OpenText. Rod is an integral member of the OpenText family. And when one of us is down, everyone at OpenText rallied behind Rod to help bring him to full recovery. This year I register for Light the Night in support of my good friend Rod, Mark and everyone who is going to participate that night. My goal is to raise enough awareness and funds for research. So help by committing your dollars to Rod and everyone in need. Although I am not walking, as I will be at the Grace Hopper Women in Technology conference in Texas, it doesn’t change a thing. I stand alongside everyone in spirit that night, whether they are there or not. We will find a cure. Visit my page to donate!  

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Light The Night: My Story – David Pelletier

While OpenText spends a lot of time focused on the digital transformation happening, we sometimes need to address the transformations taking place within people. Hardship strikes us all and we all have our journeys. In this series, I focus on telling these stories. This is David Pelletier’s. *** It is every parent’s worst nightmare. To lose their child before their time. Those who know me know that I travel every year to a different country. And I come back with stories of my travels. I want to share two stories that touched my heart. A couple of years ago, I participated in the Camino de Santiago walk in Spain. This route was truly a spiritual path and a retreat of my own personal growth as I met some special people who entered my life with stories of hope and hardship. A brilliant woman who became my partner on the walk is a cancer researcher in Argentina and is working towards finding a cure. In walking with her, I was able to learn a lot about what is involved in the research aspect. She is a medical doctor by profession but left the line to become a researcher. Her tenacity and yearning to learn more about this deadly disease impressed me and over the next five weeks of walking with her, I came to understand and appreciate her humanity. She is currently working for a clinical research firm with a focus on lung cancer. Awe-inspiring. She is one of the most altruistic people I have ever met and she took her medical acumen and put it towards a focus in research. I also met a fellow and his friend from Ireland – last year I saw his Facebook post that he was cycling across Canada to raise awareness for melanoma and I came to learn that he lost his daughter to skin cancer. I can only imagine what he was going through; to lose a child before their time is a heavy burden to bear. She was only in her early thirties. He turned seventy a few weeks ago and I drove up to Hamilton to ride 50 km of leg one with him to offer my moral support. I realized how prevalent and widespread all types of cancer really are and supporting my two friends who are dealing with it directly, makes it more poignant for me. These are the stories that walked next to me. These are the stories that will never leave me. To see how cancer has impacted my friends has motivated me to raise awareness. I am walking for Light the Night as a supporter. I walked last year for the One Walk to End Cancer and now if I can do something simple like walking to raise money for research funding and awareness, then I am going to do it. I look forward to connect with everyone that night. It is a walk for all humanity. Visit my page to donate!

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Light the Night – My Story: Lynn Elwood

ECM

While OpenText spends a lot of time focused on the digital transformation happening, we sometimes need to address the transformations taking place within people. Hardship strikes us all and we all have our journeys. In this series, I focus on telling these stories. This is Lynn Elwood’s. *** “Our goal is to bring you as close to death without killing you and then bring you back” This is how chemotherapy works. Scary. Blood cancer is devastating and when it hit a close family member of mine, it absolutely altered the course of our lives. We were involved in many experimental treatments where ultimately one caused the remission that allowed my family member to be cured. We had been told the treatment originated in China and the doctors share this information worldwide.  Every bit of research that is available, treatments that are in progress or completed, don’t have to go through clinical trials like some other drugs do. Out of my experience, I have only seen the sharing of information on a worldwide level in the blood cancer community. The experimental treatment we chose was bewildering. It showed some success for a short period of time but then the outcomes were then catastrophic: five years of great remission but then soon after, all the patients died. Imagine: killing all of the damage cells and bone marrow in your body so you become clean again to receive good bone marrow. The key to this experimentation was to get into the remission stage but then to administer the bone marrow transplant before the catastrophic results happened. And it worked. This happened a few years ago. The progress we have made is evident in that this experimental treatment is now standard treatment for this particular rare type of leukemia. During the process, we saw a tremendous hospital environment with unbelievable doctors, nurses and caregivers who were always on the edge of leading research. Of course, we benefited personally from the treatment but what was even better was that other patients behind us knew that it could work and in a less invasive way. For this night, I am very excited about being part of a community that is open and sharing but mostly, to be funding the research which is so critical to help brilliant doctors and researchers form good outcomes for every patient. Simply put, if we don’t help fund this critical and expensive research, they will not be able to do it and move onto another condition where there is funding. It takes years and our patients don’t have years. This night, I am walking as a supporter. This night, we will directly impact funds, solely for this cause. This night, we will tangibly save people’s lives. Visit my page to donate!  

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Light the Night – My Story: Xavier Chaillot

While OpenText spends a lot of time focused on the digital transformation happening, we sometimes need to address the transformations taking place within people. Hardship strikes us all and we all have our journeys. In this series, I focus on telling these stories. This is Xavier Chaillot’s. *** I have not had cancer but I have personally been impacted through people with cancer around me — by those who have survived and unfortunately by some who have succumbed to this disease. And for the survivors, even with the amount of stress and anguish during the treatment, nothing compares to the worst part: Uncertainty. For the patient and their loved ones. Coming to Canada as an immigrant, I was facing some uncertainties; however, this was nothing compared to the level of uncertainty when I was faced with the diagnosis of cancer of a close family member. With each new diagnosis, exam or treatment, every step in the process is a step into the unknown. No one can guarantee the final prognosis. Did the treatment work? How long will I be cancer-free? Will it come back and if it does, will it return with a vengeance? Dealing with the uncertainty is like living your life with a gun to your head – all the time. In my opinion, this is a problem of science that needs to be resolved by science. Practical things can be done by only a few people who have the knowledge and resources. Therefore, anything that can be done to empower them, as a collective community, we should support. I am walking as a supporter for Light the Night. What I like about community involvement in Canada is that it is simple, straightforward and open. Helping worthy causes such as this makes me feel I am an integral member of Canadian society.  I want to help and be part of this community. If anything can be done at the research level to help both the patient and their family – because cancer affects everyone – let’s not just talk. Just do it! Visit my page to donate!  

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Light The Night: My Story – Shama Jawaid

While OpenText spends a lot of time focused on the digital transformation happening, we sometimes need to address the transformations taking place within people. Hardship strike us all and we all have our journeys. In this series, I focus on telling these stories. This is mine. *** It’s the one phone call I will never forget. After my brother told me that his son was heading to McMaster University Hospital to undergo tests for mysterious leg pains, he called me a few hours later. I was at work, busy on a campaign, when my phone rang and a voice inside of me instructed me to take the call in a secluded hallway. “After chest X-rays and a bone marrow test, they have confirmed that he has cancer. He is going into induction now for six weeks. You will not be able to visit him because the chemo will weaken his immunity and increase risk of infection. Keep my son in your prayers.” This was my nephew. Four years old. In junior kindergarten. Carried to the washroom at school because his teacher said his leg pain was too much for him to bear. Unable to walk up the stairs to his bedroom at home. Complaining that the pain was not going away. My sister-in-law threw away theories of it being ‘growing pains’. She took him to their pediatrician (an oncologist by profession) who, from the blood tests, deduced his low white blood cell count was something more serious. “Go right away to the hospital for tests.” No one saw it coming. No one wanted to accept it. No one was prepared. I stood in the hallway sobbing as I remembered my nephew’s kind eyes and hearty laughter. Soon after, my nephew was diagnosed with ALL – Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, a type of blood cancer common in children. Every week I called him at the hospital, with my stomach in knots, hoping to hear his sweet voice. I cannot remember the names of all the tests, the drugs or therapies this poor kid went through. And boy, was he agitated. Couldn’t keep him on the phone for longer than a minute. I could hear the suffering in his voice even though he would say, “Aunty Shama, I am ok.” Tears would well up each time my brother told me about the seven needles inserted in his legs, bone marrow extractions, and the dexamethasone steroids (we coined as “Dexter” after the famous series) that changed him into a completely different boy. We were all a mess. Today, my nephew is eleven years old. He is in remission. He is brave. He is strong. He says he wants to be an oncologist to stop this from happening to others his age. He made friends in the cancer ward. He lost friends too. And although he is cancer-free, what happened to him was not fair. But cancer is not fair. It does not care. Cancer doesn’t discriminate against gender, race, religion or age. A diabolical disease. On October 19th, I am walking with my brave CEO, Mark Barrenechea, for my nephew and in memory of every single person affected by cancer to raise awareness and funds for leukemia research. And without a doubt, when my nephew becomes an oncologist, together our efforts now, will help create a brighter future – a cure to end this disease once and for all. Amen. Visit my page to donate! -Shama Jawaid

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