Beyond the market-leading software that Scality is known for is a team of ingenious, collaborative and compassionate humans who are always up for a challenge and never shy away from the next adventure. And a global pandemic certainly won’t stop this!
While everyone around the globe was kindly asked to stay home to protect lives during this past year, the team at Scality was already thinking of its next challenge while adapting to a new way of life. And so, just like that, we decided to run as a team to the moon (and back) to raise awareness about organ donation.
Why would we do this, you might be wondering? Well, it all started in 2016. The year marked one of Scality’s most profound shared experiences, one that continues to affect how we relate to each other and move through the world, both inside and outside of work.
That year, an abrupt leukemia diagnosis turned our colleague Elise — a Crossfit-loving, ultramarathon-running super developer — into a bedridden hospital patient who would require nine months of treatment and a bone marrow transplant for her survival.
Seeing our vibrant, athletic teammate suddenly stricken by something she, nor we, had any control over was devastating. At Scality, we solve problems. It’s what we pride ourselves on — working together to find solutions to difficult challenges. In this case, though, the combined brain power that we rely on for success was rendered useless. There was no thinking our way out of this one, and the team was wounded by its helplessness.
Elise’s illness and its effect on her normally active personal and professional life left her feeling “invisible,” like a “shadow of herself.” A month into chemo, a volunteer for the Laurette Fugain Association, an NGO fighting leukemia, dropped in for a hospital visit and offered to run the Paris Marathon in Elise’s honor. At first, she didn’t see the benefit — it wouldn’t help her rebuild her atrophied muscles, and it wouldn’t allow her to personally feel the exhilaration of the race. What was the point? At the urging of medical staff, Elise begrudgingly agreed — and the result was surprising.
Seeing photos of someone proudly displaying her name on their chest and telling her story as they crossed the finish line had an unexpected effect. Whereas she had begun to feel like a burden, Elise now felt seen and worthy of life and love. With each step taken on her behalf, the weight of her illness was slightly alleviated.
Elise shared this experience (and the great work of the Laurette Fugain Association) with the Scality team, and that’s when it all started!
Running the Course du Coeur: A race full of heart
2017 was the year we decided to take action. The Course du Coeur (the Heart Race, in English) is a 4 day, 4 night non-stop relay race from Paris to Bourg Saint Maurice – Les Arcs in the French Alps. The purpose of the 825-kilometer race, organized by Trans-Forme, is to promote awareness about the success of transplantation and the need for organ and tissue donation. To this end, the organization puts on public medical forums, school presentations and poster campaigns in each of the 200 or so cities and villages crossed during the race.
This truly awe-inspiring event was the perfect venue for Scality to unite for a common cause that hit close to home: life-saving organ donation. During four extraordinary days, the entire Scality team — both those who put feet to pavement and those who cheered from afar — bonded like never before. That enthusiasm and connection has remained strong — countless kilometers have been logged since that time. Elise recovered and now runs for others in need of transplants.
Race to the moon: Continuing the cause through the Covid-19 pandemic
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the traditional Course du Coeur was an impossibility in 2020. But a new opportunity arose, and the event moved online with an exciting, all-new challenge — a race to the moon!
Besides being ingenious, collaborative, and compassionate, I should mention that our team is also extremely resilient and determined. We were fired up by the challenge. After all, what’s 384,400 kilometers (the distance from Earth to the moon) as long as it’s for a good cause and in good (socially distant) company?
504 total athletes are participating in the race, and Team Scality — composed of Scality employees, customers, and partners alike — proudly represent nearly a third of that group. Since starting in mid-October 2020, more than 300,000 kilometers have been run/cycled over 20,000 logs in Strava. At this pace, we’re well-positioned to make it to the moon by the end of March 2021 — a feat we never could have imagined possible.
But these unexpected curve balls teach us some of life’s most important lessons, don’t they? It’s blindsiding when a beloved family member, friend or colleague suddenly suffers a life-threatening illness. A tiny virus shutting down the entire world seems inconceivable until it actually happens. These are stark reminders that we must adapt, stay the course and support one another through the good times and the bad. That’s what it really means to be part of the Scality family, and we remain committed to the cause.
UPDATE: As of March 21st, 2021 at 7:50 PM Paris time, we met our goal! The team continues to log kilometers, keeping the momentum high and staying in shape for our next big race.