Nelia Barletta de Cates’ Legacy

Nelia Barletta de Cates courageously battled pancreatic cancer for the last 4 years of her life. Her involvement in research against cancer started several decades earlier, supporting a close family member. Nelia went on to raised funds on behalf of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, becoming one of its key fundraisers.

After benefiting in her own fight against cancer from a multidisciplinary approach, driven by both innovative and individualised therapy, Nelia devoted her support to research into personalised cancer treatments, and created the Foundation Nelia and Amadeo Barletta (FNAB) in memory of her parents. The Foundation was established in the Swiss Canton of Vaud in September 2002 with the help of Mr Yves Paternot, shortly before her demise. She bequeathed the majority of her belongings, including her prestigious Parisian apartment and its contents with a rich collection of furniture and art, auctioned by Christies in 2003. Her express wish was that this generous legacy would allow others after her to benefit from the research. Donations have since been made to the FNAB by other cancer patients and their families.

Since its inception, the scientific direction of the FNAB has been entrusted to Professor Esteban Cvitkovic, Madame Cates’ oncologist. Yves Paternot, a well-known Swiss entrepreneur and investor, and also a patient of Professor Cvitkovic, served as the FNAB’s first president. A member of many foundations’ boards, Mr Paternot was a mainstay in cancer research fundraising in Switzerland, notably within ISREC (the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research), and Lausanne’s University Hospital, the CHUV. Yves echoed the wishes of Madame Cates, and was the FNAB’s board chairman and president until his demise in 2015. Mr Philippe Calame, banker and investment manager, and a strong supporter of numerous medical research causes, currently presides over the FNAB’s board, continuing the spirit of the FNAB’s cause.