News Archives - Youth Cancer Europe (YCE)
On January 28th, we’ll be hosting a virtual roundtable and Q&A on “Chemo Brain: Cancer & Mental Health” with a stellar line-up of speakers from the cancer community.

Lauren Mahon (aka Girl vs Cancer) and Leanne Pero will be joined by YCE’s Bradley Gudger, Andrea Ruano, Erik Sturesson and Emi Schipor.

Join the conversation via Zoom on January 28th at 16:00 GMT / 17:00 CET / 18:00 EET by registering for FREE on the link here: http://bit.ly/YCE_ChemoBrain_WB

Scroll down for more info on our speakers.
Lauren Mahon, aka GIRL vs CANCER, is a presenter, creator and passionate campaigner. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in August 2016. Desperate for some reassurance and carcinoma companionship Lauren went looking for like-minded women who had faced the c-bomb for advice and encouragement.

In October 2017 Lauren created the GIRLvsCANCER website and launched it as a hub of information and encouragement, a place to be sign-posted to the appropriate charities and support services as well insider tips on how to ‘do’ cancer. She is also a host of the multi-award-winning podcast, “You, ME & The Big C” and is a champion of representation within the cancer community.
Leanne Pero is the multi-award-winning CEO of The Leanne Pero Foundation – a cancer charity which was founded in 2017 to educate, inspire & bring opportunities for Black women going through cancer, to connect with one another and share their stories without fear or shame. The work of the foundation includes the Black Women Rising peer to peer support groups, a podcast, a magazine and the first all-Black cancer portrait exhibition. As well as founding the charity, Leanne is a self-published author, entrepreneur and businesswoman of over 20 years who also runs The Movement Factory and The Positive Day Planner.
A two-time cancer survivor, Brad is a pioneer of the charity sector and his community. Brad is the founder of Alike, a new charity created to combat loneliness through digital tools. He has worked extensively to advocate on behalf of young people. His experience includes being a Youth Expert Advisor for the NHS, petitioning the UK government to offer more support to those being treated for cancer and he has spoken in UK Parliament numerous times about patient experience. As a proud gay man, he is passionate about representation and health outcomes of the LGBTQ+ community. Brad is recipient of The Diana Award, a Young Leader for the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust and a One Young World Ambassador.
Andrea was diagnosed at 15, in 2007, with Ewing Sarcoma. A natural creative, she received a Degree in Fine Arts, and has played a key role in helping to establish new forward thinking brands. Her artistic skills range from photography, illustration, and graphic design, bringing a brand new visual element to the world of purpose-led initiatives. Her unique designs have set the tone for non-profit organisations such as Youth Cancer Europe, Adolescentes y Adultos Jóvenes con Cáncer, and Alike.

Having experienced the long term effects of cancer treatment for over 13 years, Andrea is passionate about using creative outlets as a way of expressing experience of cancer.  She says that “art is an escape that has aided in my mental health and stability while dealing with life-long issues from cancer treatment.”
Erik Sturesson was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s in 2003, and completed treatment in 2006. Erik is very open about the fact that after cancer had been treated, he has been plagued with late complications ever since, struggling with both mental and physical ailments. He distanced himself from everything cancer, except follow-up visits to the hospital. After experiencing a deep depression and fatigue, he discovered that his medical team weren’t transparent about the long-term effects of cancer. It was then that he decided to start advocating for better post-cancer treatment, especially mental health support.
Emanuel Schipor, 27 years old and 8 years and a half in remission from testicular cancer, is a member of the Steering Committee of YCE, a patient advocate for the Temerarii (The Romanian Community of Cancer Survivor Young People) and a project manager for the Romanian NGO – The Little People Association. He has participated in several PanCare and SiopE conferences and has a particular interest in fertility and fertility preservation for young adults affected by cancer.

Join the conversation via Zoom on January 28th at 16:00 GMT / 17:00 CET / 18:00 EET, by registering for FREE on the link here.

With a special thank you to our sponsors for making this event possible:

On Monday 11th January, at the invitation of Bartosz Arłukowicz, YCE’s Katie Rizvi will be speaking at the European Commission’s Beating Cancer Committee’s (BECA) public hearing, set up to aid MEPs draft their report on Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan.

The consultation will focus on patient rights, survivorship and quality of life, and more specifically on topics such as the Right To Be Forgotten and other such priorities included in YCE’s White Paper. Katie’s intervention will focus on cancer-related fertility impairment and mental health.

The European Commission’s John Ryan (Director, DG SANTE) will also take questions. The live stream is kicking off at 13:45 (CET). More info and access to the live stream here.

Victor Gîrbu, a 27-year old lawyer, cancer survivor and YCE ambassador living in Bucharest has received the Young Person of the Year Award in his native Moldova!

You may already know Victor from his speech at the EU Parliament’s hemicycle on World Cancer Day this year, in which he shared his moving life story and his view on the key issues faced by young people living with cancer across Europe; the same key issues outlined in our white paper, and which YCE, along with Victor and our wider community, are committed to continue tackling on behalf of the thousands cancer patients, survivors, their families and caretakers around the continent. Victor received a standing ovation from the EU Parliament then, and as you can witness his commitment hasn’t diminished since.

He received his award at a ceremony aired today on TVR Moldova, the country’s public access TV channel. During his speech, Victor dedicated the award to YCE and its members from 31 countries that continue to fight to bring attention to YCE’s five calls to action. He acknowledged the impact we’ve already made all across Europe by addressing financial discrimination and Cross Border Health, and promises the work will continue – focusing on mental health, fertility and dental and reconstructive surgery access for patients and survivors over the coming short-term.

YCE is proud to be represented by ambassadors like Victor Gîrbu and to have him alongside us in our continued fight to improve the lives of young cancer patients and survivors in follow-up care. Join us in congratulating Victor for a massively well deserved award, which he has also insisted to send to YCE’s HQ to share with all of us!

Arte, a French public service TV channel and one of the leading European broadcasters, recently aired a half-hour special of its Vox Pop show talking about the discrimination faced by people living with cancer across the continent.

The show featured an interview with YCE ambassador and cancer survivor Milos Radulovic from Serbia, whose story serves as a prologue to a programme featuring short appearances from other survivors from our #removelabels campaign. As Milos highlights in his segment, there are many personal challenges faced by survivors coming back to their life routines after cancer treatment.

The ever-present stigma surrounding the disease and those living with it, is a huge contributing factor to the discrimination that occurs at institutional level, including access to loans, mortgages and insurance policies, and in some cases and as highlighted in the show, even loss of employment.

Financial discrimination is one of the key five issues affecting young people living with cancer, which we have addressed in our organisation’s white paper and continue to tackle at European level on behalf of thousands of young patients and survivors.

Vox Pop talks about some of the initiatives across the continent to tackle these issues, joined by leading institutional and academic voices.

A huge thank you goes out to Arte for reaching out to YCE to be a part of this special programme.

Last week, our co-founder and Executive Director Katie Rizvi represented YCE at Politico’s Annual Health Summit, speaking as part of the spotlight discussion entitled “Rare diseases – under the microscope”.

Drug development for rare diseases is a complex issue, as drug companies often don’t see potential markets as big enough to return their research investments. Therefore, patients are often left either without a drug to help fight the disease or without access to one; the availability of developed orphan drugs varying wildly from market to market.

The current EU regulation was designed in 2000 to provide market incentives for drug companies to help alleviate the situation, but in 2020 it falls far short of it’s ultimate aim – to provide drugs and equal access to them for every rare disease patient in Member States, and a redesign is clearly needed.

Hear Katie discuss those issues, joined by the European Commission’s Olga Solomon (Head Of Unit, Medicines: Policy, Authorization and Monitoring, DG Sante) with Politico’s reporter Carlo Martuscelli.

Youth Cancer Europe’s co-founder and Executive Director Katie Rizvi will be speaking at The Economist’s World Cancer Series virtual event next week.

The event runs from November 9th-13th, with Katie leading a session on Fertility & Cancer Patients on Thursday, November 12th at 1pm GMT (2pm CET / 3pm EET).

For more information and to register your interest for free, click here.

Last year, Youth Cancer Europe participated in a study on the topic of cross-border access to clinical trials in the European Union, which was carried out by EFGCP, EORTC, KU Leuven and Patvocates, and supported with an unrestricted grant by the EFPIA’s Oncology Platform.
The article presenting the study’s results has been published in Frontiers in Medicine, and can be accessed for free here: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmed.2020.585722/full
The study concluded that participation in clinical trials abroad (between Member States) is rarely taking place, but should be facilitated. There was a consensus on the need for reliable and accessible information regarding practical aspects, as well as multi-stakeholder, multi-national recommendations on existing options and best practice on cross-border access to clinical trials.
You can view the full report here.
As Youth Cancer Europe revealed during our event at the European Parliament last year, 4 out of 5 patients in the EU don’t even know they can access life-saving treatment for free. Our cross-border health initiative hit the headlines at the time and we will continue to push for better and fairer access to cross-border health at European level.

Following our first ever Esports tournament, on October 10th we teamed up with pro gamer Blackelespanolito for a very special World Mental Health Day fundraiser event, hosted on his Twitch channel.

The live stream achieved over 51.1k views, with all donations going directly to support Youth Cancer Europe! The stream, dedicated to the game Valorant, also featured an interview with YCE member and cancer survivor Andrea Ruano, who spoke about YCE’s action plan as laid out in our white paper and answered questions from Black’s audience in the live chat.

A big thank you once again to Blackelespanolito for hosting us on the stream! You can watch the stream again in full (in Spanish) at this location.

Updated: 21st October 2020

On behalf of the EU Health Coalition, Youth Cancer Europe is delighted to invite you to the EU Health Summit “Time for Action”, which will go virtual on the 26th of October with the participation of Commissioner Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner Mariya Gabriel and EU Presidency German Health Minister Jens Spahn.

You can register for the online event here.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us the importance of cooperation between all sectors and actors to ensure our healthcare systems can function to their best ability in saving human lives.

In 2018, 33 organisations (including Youth Cancer Europe) came together under the umbrella of the EU Health Coalition. We jointly developed 20 recommendations for a healthier Europe to promote a shared vision of health in Europe. A number of these have since been implemented including, most notably, giving a much larger role to health at EU level. Much still remains to be done!

This year, it is time for action. The continued and concrete implementation of the 2018 recommendations requires a broad support base as well as multi-stakeholder actions. For the second edition of the EU Health Summit, participants together with the EU Health Coalition partners, will develop implementing actions to continue to translate the 2018 recommendations into concrete policy change and improve Europeans’ health and health systems’ sustainability. Particular attention will be paid to the lessons learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic and how to translate these into a political vision capable of maximising collaboration and ensuring a healthy and equitable future for everyone in Europe.

You can find more information about the programme here. Join us on the 26th of October at 13:30 (Central European time). Together, we are shaping the future of Health in Europe.

Welcome to Youth Cancer Europe’s first ever CSGO Esports Charity Tournament!

Youth Cancer Europe is proud to host its first ever charity gaming tournament on September 6th, 2020. The tournament will be raising funds for the work carried out by the patient organisation Youth Cancer Europe, which represents half a million young people affected by cancer, aged 18-39 across 31 countries.

Watch the live stream by via Twitch here: https://www.twitch.tv/primaesport

Pro teams Unicorns of Love, Lemondogs, and Prima Esport‘s Academy and Female teams will be facing off in two semifinals plus a final match, with the stream kicking off from 13:30 BST (UK/Ireland/Portugal) / 14:30 CEST (Central Europe) / 15:30 EEST (Eastern Europe), hosted by Prima’s own Martin ‘PrimoFamilia’ Mårtensson as our caster.

The unprecedented impact of Covid-19 on healthcare systems across the world has caused tremendous side effects. The impact has been felt not only on the immediate treatment of other diseases. Access to medicines and access to screening have been disrupted. The delivery of mental health services and psychosocial services has been disturbed, as well as much else. With the focus shifted towards coronavirus and the search for a vaccine, areas of healthcare not immediately related to the virus, as well as charities and patient organisations worldwide, have been heavily affected in the last three months by huge funding shortages that ultimately put new and future patients at increased risk.

Mental health, which is one of the key areas addressed by Youth Cancer Europe ahead of its 2021 Global Summit, is also a cause close to the heart of many gamers and Esports players in particular, where we feel both worlds are connected; giving us an excellent platform to raise much needed awareness.

We look forward to welcoming you on September 6th to our charity CSGO tournament!