The holidays are a wonderful time of year for many families coming together and celebrating. However, for some, it’s tough to enjoy the festivities when a family member is battling cancer or other illnesses. Our CEO, Tony Safoian, was honored last week to support a very special family in a very tangible way: granting the wish of Hannah Deeb, a young girl with a passion for technology and a dream to one day work for Google, by facilitating a personal visit to Google Headquarters – a wish all the more significant because it was shared by Hannah’s mom Becki, who has been battling cancer.
Hannah’s mother Becki, along with her father and two older sisters, have been constant supporters from the beginning, encouraging Hannah to pursue her dreams. In early 2015, Becki was diagnosed with Stage Four bile duct cancer after doctors found over 50 tumors in her liver. After six months of aggressive chemotherapy, radiation and four different liver surgeries, doctors have given Becki less than a month.
Despite the difficult time the family has been through, Hannah says that her mother has remained a constant pillar of strength, never faltering in her focus for the futures of her daughters, especially Hannah’s dream to work at Google. Jaclyn Deeb, Hannah’s older sister, knew how important this was to her mother and decided to reach out to Julie Edwards, a family friend who helped make the connection to Google to fulfill Hannah’s wish.
Edwards, eager to help Becki make her daughter’s dream come true, connected with Tony Safoian, CEO of Google Premier Partner SADA Systems. Safoian heard the Deeb’s story and offered Hannah and her sisters an opportunity to visit the Google Headquarters in Mountain View, California.
“We’re fortunate to do what we do and it’s our duty to give back to our community as well as inspire the next generation of tech enthusiasts,” Safoian says. “It’s our pleasure to help grant the Deeb family’s wish to spend a day at Google Headquarters to learn from industry experts. We wish the Deeb family the best during this tough time and know Becki and her daughters will inspire others to make dreams come true.”
Safoian coordinated a customized tour for the three Deeb sisters – Hannah, Jaclyn and Najla – which guided them through the GooglePlex to visit Google offices and explore the latest innovations in everything from devices and software to programming and coding.
Hannah has described herself as “technology savvy” since she was a young girl, with a fascination and affinity for learning how different gadgets work – along with a passion for art and creativity which she calls a “recipe for her dream job at Google.” Hannah, now 17, explains, “I would like to work for Google because of what they stand for. Google embraces individuality and all sorts of creativity – that every Idea is a good idea, and most of all their motto is ‘Don’t be Evil.’ Who wouldn’t want to work for Google?”
“My mom knows I’ve always wanted to work for Google,” Hannah says. “When she started getting sick, she decided she wanted to see ‘where I was going to work.’ Let’s just say my mom knows how special this trip is to me.” During the tour Hannah was able to set up a Google Hangout with Becki, who was unable to make the trip but was thrilled to see her daughter’s dream come true.
“My mom is the strongest person I know,” Hannah says. “My mom is using all her strength and spirit through everything. All I can say is that I am so extremely proud of her.”
Becki’s medical procedures and tests have incurred thousands of dollars that were previously set aside for college for Hannah and her sisters. To balance out the costs, the West Linn community started a Go Fund Me page to support the girls’ education. Click below to help by donating to the family’s Go Fund Me page.