For almost a century, the Foundation Against Cancer has been making reference in Belgium. Pour to sensitize to maximum the citizens and collect funds, she even organizes a golf competition. Meet with its CEO Benoît Koerperich.
By Miguel Tasso
Based on the latest official figures, cancer has become the disease that causes the most deaths in Belgium. “And everyone is concerned, near or far. Each, including his family or relatives, had one person affected. There are unfortunately 70,000 new cases every year. ”recalls Benoît Koerperich, director general of the Foundation Against Cancer.
It has been almost a century that this charitable public utility association has been working in the shadow to fight this terrible disease. “Our first mission is to fund scientific research projects. The second is to accompany patients and their loved ones throughout their trial. And the third is to sensitize to risk factors through actions or prevention campaigns. »
It is in this village that the Swing Against Cancer golf tournament was created, which is celebrating its second anniversary this year.
“The idea is to organize competitions at different clubs in the country in order to go to the meeting with the players to explain our vocation in a friendly, spontaneous and humane way. The goal is not to ask for money as a mandatory one, but rather to send good messages to arouse curiosity. »
The first two rounds of the 2022 edition have already taken place at National and Zoute. The others are scheduled at Sart Tilman (June 18), Waterloo (July 2 and 3), Cleydael (July 16 and 17), Antwerp (July 30) and the Castle of Ardenne (September).
“Golf is, for us, a very important quality target group. It is a sport that is a vehicle of good values. We have also been very well received by all the clubs we have visited and I know that some of the golfers are showing off generously. ”, continued Benoît Koerperich. Similarly, a pro-am specially reserved for companies will be held in Waterloo on September 16th. And there, companies can, of course, buy teams for the good cause.
In fact, more than ever, the fight against cancer should be a priority for everyone. “The covid -linked health crisis has been at the forefront of the scene for months, taking up a lot of space in the media and in society in general. And it has not facilitated screenings, nor speeded up treatment in hospitals. It is therefore urgent to respond. »
Talk, explain, advise, introduce: The Cancer Foundation is stepping up its efforts to bring the good word to everyone. “Fight against tobacco and alcohol, encourage sedatives to exercise, promote a balanced diet to avoid overweight, protect themselves from UV rays and, from a certain age, encourage citizens to get rid of it of the colon, of the prostate, of the breast, all this is essential. Unfortunately, sometimes a little too epic, the Belgian is not a very good student in all these fields. And cancer did not attend. »
A national organization, completely independent and permanent, the foundation is supported by a team of 75 people, high -level scientific experts and many dedicated volunteers throughout the country. Over the years and generations, it has become a real reference. His Cancer Barometer now serves as an indicator to the federal Minister of Health to carry out an effective policy against this disease.
“We are very attached to the concept of exemplification. It is for this reason that we are not affiliated with any pharmaceutical firm, nor with any university. The money we collect is automatically distributed for our various missions, without intermediaries and only in the service of Belgian citizens. We have invested more than 200 million euros in nearly a thousand projects since 1989. In the 1970s, a return rate of 40 %was estimated. It has now passed 70 %. In recent years, 350 000 patients have been touched for maladie ont survécu. These are very encouraging statistics, but there are ways to do better at all levels. In research, of course, but also in prevention and communication. And it starts at a young age, at school or at home. Sliding a packet of chips into a child’s cardboard is not a good idea. And let him quench his thirst with no more sodas. There is a great deal of educational work to be done. »
Aware of the importance of its impact, the Foundation Against Cancer works directly on all levels. It was she who, a few years ago, invented the concept of the “Mineral Tour” in February to fight alcoholism. In the same spirit, she launched the “Buddy Deal”. “By stopping smoking for a month, we have five times more chances of quitting definitively. With this new action, the goal is to encourage smokers to smoke for 30 days with the support of a “buddy”. A real challenge to do for two, a real deal between friends. »
Tobacco is, it is true, a very important cause of lung cancer. “On the other hand, there is a recurrence of cases, especially in the 1980s. Cigarettes were then very popular among young people, boys and girls. »
Thanks to the legs and individual donations, the foundation is able to assume a very important and transcendent role in research, prevention and support. She sets the example, exactly as in the figure, in life and on the greens. Eh well, swing now!