Chrysler Group Fights Cancer

Chrysler Group Fights Cancer

How the automaker rallied nearly 350 employees in Detroit to make a long-term commitment to the fight against cancer.

Multimedia from this Release

Michael Jessamy, Chrysler Group executive

Thursday, October 10, 2013 - 9:05am

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Michael Jessamy is a big, strong, fit guy who has never smoked and rarely drank. So imagine his shock when the dull ache in his neck – which doctors initially blamed on allergies – turned out to be stage 4 throat cancer. It just came out of nowhere.

“No one could tell me the cause,” the Chrysler Group executive recalls.

Regardless, surgery, radiation and chemo succeeded in eradicating the cancer, and today, at age 56, Michael has just marked his seven-year cancer-free birthday. He feels great. In fact, he has focused his abundant energy on making Chrysler Group one of the country’s leading examples of helping the American Cancer Society finish the fight against cancer.

Michael, his staff, employee volunteers, his colleagues from the UAW, and upper management recently organized a mass enrollment of Chrysler Group colleagues, friends and family members in the American Cancer Society Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3). CPS-3 is a long-term study designed to uncover factors – lifestyle, environmental and genetic – that cause or prevent cancer.

Chrysler Group’s CPS-3 initiative started with an impassioned proposal from Marie Adam, Chrysler Group’s manager of medical operations, who saw the CPS-3enrollment as a way for her company to help the Society make this cancer’s last century. Not surprisingly, the idea resonated with Michael, who is director of employee relations and medical operations. His supervisors were equally enthusiastic.

How They Did It