On March 17th, I got a surprise call from the local Novartis requesting me to invite two GIPAP patients who would give thank you message to no other than Dr. Dan Vasella. The meeting was on the very next day. I immediately called the TBM President who gladly accompanied Mavi, his 12-year old son to the hotel. Morie, the TBM treasurer was also excited to meet the Novartis CEO. I was told that the last time he was in Manila was about 10 years ago. Understandably, the local Novartis staff wanted to make his visit very memorable. Almost 200 local staff gathered together to welcome him. Dr. Vasella was obviously charmed by Mavi’s message.
The local Novartis presented the TBM’s token to them last 6th GIPAP to Dr. Vasella. It was a collage with the patients’ thank you notes. The token was a little bulky since it was meant for the local NVS. Surprisingly, he brought it back with him 🙂
In his acceptance speech, Dr. Vasella acknowledged the role of TMF in GIPAP. He said that without TMF, GIPAP would have not been successful as it is now.