Friday, February 25, 2011

Hawaii: Part Four

We are now on Tuesday which is the big presentation day and the day the secret of this whole trip is out.  Our day starts early as Julie will be coming to our room for us at 6:40 a.m. Hawaiin time.  We are wearing dress clothes and Nicole looks just beautiful.  Julie comes and we go down the service elevator and through the bowels of the kitchen in the basement.  We have to wait in the hallway until nobody is outside of the ballroom where the presentation is taking place. We are then taken to wait outside the doors and I can hear the video being played and my voice.  Tania is standing there waiting to open the doors so we can make our entrance.  Nicole is in the wheelchair and has her O2 in her nose.  I hear laughter coming from inside and so I assume that is the part where I call the senior VP, Jay, arrogant.  There's loud clapping and the doors open for our entrance and there's a standing ovation.  I push Nicole to the stage and she takes off her O2 and walks up on stage.  There are four chairs... Alex is on one  end, with me, Nicole, and then Jay.  It is an Oprah style interview and Alex asks me questions like how has our stay in Hawaii has been so far; how did I feel when we got Nicole's diagnosis.  He said that Nicole struck him as a strong, very resilient young woman and what has impressed me the most about Nicole since her diagnosis.  He said to Nicole that they had a photo of her taking Tyvaso while using the mouse on her computer and drawing on her tablet at the same time... this brought laughs.  He asked Nicole what it was like to take the Tyvaso every day.  He asked if she thought the Tyvaso was making her feel better.  They asked me if I have seen a difference in her condition since starting the Tyvaso (they manufacture this drug). He mentioned about my first impression of UT being a big company who didn't care about it patients etc. and he wanted to know now what has impressed me the most.  Also, asked if I wanted to say anything to Jay. Then he asked Jay some questions.  They then told Nicole that they had a gift for her and that they knew she loved to draw and also from me that she loves stuffed animals so they gave her a $75 gift certificate to an online art store and a stuffed monk seal which is Hawaii's state animal.  They also started a tradition by giving Jay a new award that will be given out at all future global sales meetings.   It is the "No Patient Left Behind Award."  This concluded the presentation and people started filing out but we stayed on stage talking with Jay and having picture after picture taken.  For those who know me personally you know how I HATE having my picture taken.  When Greg and Julie first came to interview us I said that there were three things that I truly disliked and they were having my picture taken, flying and public speaking and I was going to be doing all of these things by going to Hawaii.  After the presentation we went outside for a few minutes and mingled before their next meeting.  We had to come back in an hour for their next break which we did and sat at a table and had a snack.  Many people came up to us and said "hi" and gave me their business cards or just said what an inspiration we were.  After this we were free for the rest of the day until 4:00 p.m.  We went back to our room.  Rick and I walked around and down the beach but Nicole was tired and wanted to stay in the room.  We ordered room service for lunch and just hung out.  We went down to the football field that had been created for the field games that UT was doing.  They had some kids and their parents bused in from a local homeless shelter to participate in the fun.  Nicole sat in her wheelchair and was the official time keeper for the trivia pursuit relay race.  Once all the activities were done we went to another part of the resort for a BBQ and award presentation from the field days. Each kid that had come received a back-pack and award.   Nicole got an award for being the time keeper which I thought was very nice.  We stayed until 7:30 p.m. or so then went back to our room.  It was very hard adjusting to the time difference and since I had to keep her on EST for her medicine it was even more difficult. 
Well that is all for this entry .... I will be back tomorrow for Wednesday.... Aloha

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