A Global Family Story Transcript


00:14 Michael Gaines: Hello, and welcome to a special edition of NOV Today. I'm your host, Michael Gaines.

00:21 Michael Gaines: On the morning of January 28, 2018, the sky was dark and gray with frequent showers. The wind was lightly blowing cool air from the northeast, and the streets were overflowing with pink. Pink, pink, and more pink was all the eye could see in the crowded streets of downtown Houston. Allen Parkway, typically sparsely dotted with vehicles this early in the morning, is emblazoned with men, women, and children donning every shade of pink imaginable. On this particular morning, thousands of walkers and runners came together to continue the fight against breast cancer in the 2017 Komen Houston Race for the Cure event.

01:08 Vicki: Hi, I'm Vicki with Komen.

01:10 Billie Froggatt: I'm Billie Froggatt.

01:11 Vicki: Nice to meet you.

01:13 Billie Froggatt: Nice to meet you.

01:13 Unidentified:
Hi, Vicki.

01:13 Unidentified: How are you doing? 

01:13 Vicki: Good. How are you? 

01:14 Unidentified: Good. Oh, you guys...

[background conversation]

01:14 Michael Gaines: One of those participants was Billie Froggatt, a sprightly NOV executive assistant who is a nine-year breast cancer survivor and previous Komen race chair for NOV.

01:27 Billie Froggatt: Good morning, Houston. On behalf of NOV and as a nine-year survivor myself, I'm honored to be here today in support of our community. It warms my heart to see all of you here so early this morning, whether you're walking in celebration of, in memory of, or in support of, we are here today as one voice.

01:45 Michael Gaines:
Joining Billie, was Kadie Rose, this year's team captain for NOV's Komen team.

01:51 Kadie Rose: In behalf of National Oilwell Varco, I'd like to sincerely thank all of you for your support during the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Family Walk and Kids K. The rain tried to stop us in October, but we're not going to let it stop us today. So tighten your shoes and walk with your crew to find a cure for breast cancer.

02:09 Billie Froggatt: Alright. Okay. Are we ready? 

02:11 Unidentified: I think so. I think so. Oh, to be a kid again. I'd be out there running with you kids.

02:16 Billie Froggatt: Okay, Kadie's got it ready. Here we go.

[background conversation]

02:17 Michael Gaines: As Kadie and Billie prepared to blow the start horn, thousands of families eagerly lined up to participate in the event.

02:24 Unidentified: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.


02:33 Michael Gaines: Kadie and Billie's welcome address at the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure was inspiring and motivational, encouraging the runners to continue to support research and investment in finding a cure for breast cancer. After kicking off the race, I caught up with Kadie to talk a bit more about her reason for being on the team. She shared that her passion for the community and those in need truly took off during her college days.

02:57 Kadie Rose: When I was in college, I went to Texas Tech University, and I was in a sorority, I was a Zeta Tau Alpha, and our philanthropy was Susan G. Komen. So I worked the races in Lovett, Texas for four years, and to me, Susan G. Komen as well as United Way, I have a passion for helping those in our community. It's important to me.

03:21 Michael Gaines: Kadie says that for those that have never been to an event, it can truly make an impact on those around you.

03:28 Kadie Rose: I think the most important thing is for them to come out and experience an event because together we really are an NOV family, we come together and help one another, and it's amazing to see the smiles on the faces of those who have been through breast cancer, and whether they're battling it right now, or they've already conquered that battle, they come up to you and thank you, and it is truly an honor.

03:53 Michael Gaines: The phrase "Global Family" is something that Billie Froggatt knows very well. She and her husband, Mark, who is also an NOV employee, sat down with me to discuss their cancer journey and how NOV played a part in their recovery.

04:08 Michael Gaines:
Mark, Billie, thank you for being here.

04:10 Billie Froggatt: Thank you for having us today.

04:11 Mark Froggatt: More than welcome.

04:12 Michael Gaines: So, today, we're talking about community and a global family. I can start with you, Billie. So, how long have you been here at the company? 

04:21 Billie Froggatt:
37 years, it'll be 38 in April.

04:23 Michael Gaines: Okay, great. And what are you doing here? 

04:25 Billie Froggatt: I work for Grant Allman at the Engineering Department as a Reporting Analyst, Executive Assistant, whatever they need me.

04:33 Michael Gaines:
Sure, yeah, yeah. Excellent. And Mark, how long have you been with NOV and what are your working on? 

04:39 Mark Froggatt: It'll be 10 years this year in July, and I work in the rig technology's land project management.

04:45 Michael Gaines: Okay, great. So, can you, Billie, help me understand... Well, you were diagnosed with breast cancer about almost... How many years ago? 

04:56 Billie Froggatt: It's almost 10 years.

04:57 Michael Gaines: Okay. So almost 10 years ago. Help me understand... I mean, can you walk us through that? 'Cause I know it's... Whenever anyone hears the C word, I mean, it's immediately life-changing. What was that like? 

05:12 Billie Froggatt: I go yearly for my mammograms, and in 2008 I went in, and they'd said, "I need you to come back to do another check." And I'm like, "Okay." So go do a check, and they want to do an ultrasound, and they come back and say, "Well, we detect a mass." And so they wanted to make sure what it was. So I went in and did a biopsy, and then they called me, and I was at work, that it was cancer. Of course, you're devastated and in shock. You just don't know what to do. After the diagnosis, I went to MD Anderson and got a plan what we needed to do, went through, found out it was stage 1, went and did a... I think it's called a BRCA test to see if I had the gene, and I didn't, so it was estrogen driven. First thing I did was I had surgery, then I went through chemo, and then I went through radiation. It was like a nine-month process. Of course, you lose your hair, lose your eyebrows, you know, all that. If it wasn't for NOV and the people I worked with, I was at the tech college at the time, they were like my family, they kept me going. I try not to miss any work. I would do my treatments on Fridays, so I'll be out Friday and by Monday, I was ready to go back to work. I was really thankful that they were there to keep me going.

06:54 Michael Gaines: Right. So, Mark, here you're supporting Billie through this, it's something that you're both going through, right? What was that like for you and hearing that initial diagnosis and what was going through your mind? 

07:11 Mark Froggatt: Well, as she stated, we both have strong work ethics. With my previous job, I had 19 years of perfect attendance, so I would take lightly of missing work. I'd only been with the company for about a week, maybe two weeks when she was diagnosed, and we come out of that meeting with the doctor and come out of the car, you're kind of in a shock, and I can remember just saying, "Get your cry out now, and then let's just face this going forward." But both of our bosses were very supportive, and if we needed the time off to take it and heal first, and then we'll be here for you when you're ready to come back basically.

07:50 Michael Gaines: How was that for you? Were you expecting that level of support because you had just been with the company recently, right? 

07:58 Mark Froggatt: Well, you never know, right? You've got a new environment. I've been part of the NOV family, again, we've been married 30 years now, so I've been part of the NOV family for 30 years, in a way, but from the outside. So you never know, and again, new job, you want to show that you're performing well and don't miss a lot of work. It was difficult, but again, from the support of our bosses and our supervisors, it made it much easier.

08:25 Michael Gaines: So Billie, you have the initial diagnosis, you started going through the treatments, and I know from personally talking with individuals including yourself, I know that that is a challenging time, right? Your body is drained, it wreaks havoc. I mean, in a good way, but it's...

08:48 Billie Froggatt: Oh, yeah.

08:48 Michael Gaines: You know better than me. How was it going through that process, still managing things at home but still coming to work? How was that? 

09:00 Billie Froggatt: If it wasn't for work, I'd be thinking about it all the time. And I think it helped me by able to get my mind on something else besides the cancer. So, you just made it work. People would come and say, "What are you doing here?" I'm like, "What do you want me do? Stay home and cry?" I wasn't going to be that way. Like I said, I was thankful that they said, "Whatever you need, if you need to work a half a day, work a half a day." I usually worked all day. It felt better being away from it. You almost like take yourself out of that situation, even though you know you're still going through it.

09:40 Michael Gaines: Mm-hmm.

09:41 Mark Froggatt: It's a part of your life, but you don't want it to become your life. You don't want it to drive your life.

09:44 Billie Froggatt: Right.

09:45 Michael Gaines: Fortunately, you went through that process and so now, you've been, I guess... How do they designate? Like a survivor? 

09:55 Billie Froggatt: Right. You're a survivor. In fact, they say, "You're a survivor once you get diagnosed." So that's what they tell you. Basically, I was diagnosed July of 2008, so in July of 2018, I'll be 10-year survivor.

10:12 Michael Gaines: When you all both think through going through this process, what would you say to someone who might be going through a cancer diagnosis or really, I guess you could even roll this up into any kind of life experience that could impact you. But what would you say to someone that's going through a similar situation? 

10:35 Billie Froggatt: Yeah. Reach out to somebody who's been through it, 'cause they know what it's like and don't be afraid to ask for help. I'm the one that always likes to give, not to take, so it was really hard for me to ask for anybody to help me. But ask for that help.

10:54 Michael Gaines: What are some things that you all like to do for fun? 

10:58 Billie Froggatt: We love to ride motorcycles.

11:01 Michael Gaines: What are some of the places that you enjoy? 

11:05 Billie Froggatt: North Carolina is probably one of our favorites. And then up in the Maggie Valley area and then surges, anywhere where there's a lot of winding roads and hills.

11:16 Michael Gaines: I am not experienced in riding motorcycles. My dad has one, I can't tell you what it is. But I think it was acquired with a little bit of resistance from... Anyway, we won't talk about that.

11:29 Billie Froggatt: [chuckle] Okay.

11:31 Michael Gaines: As we wrapped up our conversation, Mark recollected on NOV's community involvement in days past and reminded us that we're all in this together.

11:40 Mark Froggatt: I mean, just NOV as a community itself, I can remember back starting off just with the beach cleanups, getting together for the community, helping out with the state parks. So we'd meet down there at Galveston State Park, clean up the beaches on a yearly event. To United Way participation, I mean, obviously with the tragic event of Hurricane Harvey last year, that just NOV has come out and not only helped the communities, but the employees as well when they've needed it. You'd never have to go through anything alone. There's always help out there, whether it's from your direct family, from your work family, you never have to go through anything alone.

12:21 Michael Gaines: That's good advice. Excellent. Well, Billie, Mark, thank you for taking the time to share your story.

12:27 Billie Froggatt: Thank you.

12:27 Mark Froggatt: More than welcome.

12:28 Michael Gaines: Thanks for listening to this episode of NOV Today. We'd like to hear your feedback, share your thoughts by tweeting us @NOVGlobal and using the hashtag, #NOVToday, or you can contact us by sending an email to [email protected]. For NOV Today, I'm Michael Gaines. Thanks for listening, and we'll talk to you later.