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Von der Leyen: Little sisters cancer death changed my life


European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Europe needs to boost its outdated strategy for fighting cancer and cited her own sisters death from the disease as her motivation for studying medicine.

“My little sisters death has changed my life,” von der Leyen said Tuesday, describing the death of her 11-year-old sister of a rare bone tumor.

“Its also because of her death that I wanted to study medicine and that I became a medical doctor,” she added. “Its because of her … that I care so much about fighting cancer.”

Von der Leyens strikingly personal speech kicked off the nine-month consultation for the cancer plan at a gathering at the European Parliaments hemicycle. The plan is due by the end of 2020.

“We do not start from scratch,” she said. “But the last European action plan against cancer dates back 30 years. The world has changed. Europe has changed. And the number of cases is sadly on the rise.”

Von der Leyen noted that while up to 40 percent of cancers are considered preventable, about 3 percent of health bRead More – Source

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