Raili - The epitome of Sisu
Created by randall whitcomb on 06/22/2013
I have had the privilege of knowing and working with Raili for 15 years, beginning with our time at Parke-Davis. I was immediately struck with her enthusiasm, energy and very keen intellect. I still feel the same today. After we both left Parke-Davis post the Pfizer transaction, I would see her at meetings dealing with start-up companies. I had morphed into that space as well so we had much in common. One of the I was involved with acquired a company in Turku, Finland. My colleagues and I made many trips there over the years. A great place in summer, difficult in winter except for the opportunity to see the aurora borealis which is breathtaking. What I did not know was that this was where Raili had grown up. Having met so many special people in Finland I am now able to appreciate why Raili has a healthy dose of Sisu.
As Raili, Julia and Gary were getting Atterocor off the ground, they contacted me to see if I thought they could secure funding to progress the lead compound, ATR-101 forward. I was struck by the passion of each person and only then learned that Raili herself was a patient with this horrid disease. The company was funded, not in a small part due to Raili's passion. As I have spent time with Raili over the last year I have learned about her Finnish roots, we contemplated going to sauna, and most of all I have seen her courage through very difficult circumstances. She truly epitomizes "sisu" and as her friend, I will truly miss her.