Monthly Archives: November 2013

Cancer Support Group Senior Section

Cancer Support is a volunteer group of Commission staff and retired staff which aims to provide emotional and practical support to any of our colleagues who are cancer patients or have someone close who is suffering from cancer. We have a telephone number (02 2980741) and a mailbox ( so we can react rapidly to queries and requests for help.

Despite the breakthroughs in cancer prevention, the number of cases remains high and Commission staff are affected like everyone else. With an increasing number of retired colleagues diagnosed with various forms of cancer, we need more volunteers to join us. The Senior Section was set up to encourage more retired colleagues to get involved in our work. With this extra assistance Cancer Support can increase its support both for our many retired colleagues living in Belgium as well as for younger Commission staff whose families are far away.

If you would like to join us or just simply want to know what is involved, contact us via the mailbox listed above and someone will get back to you quickly.

CANCER SUPPORT GROUP – A new light for retired colleagues

by Ana Catarina da Fonseca, Cend tt


Microsoft Word - CSG by Ana Catarina.docThe Cancer Support Group is launching a senior section to enable it to provide more emotional and practical assistance to pensioners.

Roy Edwards, President of the Group, spoke to Commission en direct.

Why did the Cancer Support Group feel the need to create a senior section?

In the course of the last eight years, more and more retired staff have turned to the Cancer Support Group for help. If you are still working, you have your infrastructure – your computer, telephone, and colleagues. But it’s different when you are all alone at home – you need more help. So we had the idea of creating a senior branch, and it has already proved its usefulness. We have heard from a number of pensioners, some with really tragic cases.


What will this section do?

We can help pensioners by making appointments with clinics and specialists. We can take them, stay with them, and arrange all the administrative procedures with the PMO. We will provide the same kind of support as for active staff, except that in this case it is even more needed. Some pensioners have no idea what to do. We had one lady who did not even know she would be reimbursed for the medical costs.


What practical and administrative support does the Group offer?

We go to the PMO to arrange the direct billing, which means the hospital sends the bills directly to the PMO without going via the patient. We also help to draft letters requesting that the illness be recognised as ‘serious’, so that patients can be reimbursed 100% – and not 85%. The good contacts we have in the clinics are our strength. Thanks to them, I was able to get an appointment with a specialist in a record 2.5 hours for a lady with breast cancer. Her case was dealt with very efficiently.


Has the section been officially launched?

It is already working in the sense that pensioners call us already, but it is not yet official. We are still putting it in place, working with the AIACE (Association internationale des anciens de l’Union européenne). We have drawn up a list of potential volunteers among the pensioners. Last year, Cancer Support dealt with some 200 interventions and 30 hospitalisations. As we are a small group of volunteers, we would like to get help from what I call the ‘young pensioners’ – people in their sixties who are still very active.
Tel. +32 229 80741

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Remerciements – action SANDRA

DSCN3533Dear Colleagues,


I would like to thank you all, from the bottom of my heart, for your generosity.
Thanks to the money raised within the DS (938,68 €), as well as the action taken by the very willing volunteers from the DS, Legal Service and the EUREST team, an extra 1.672,26 € was raised by our cake bake sale in the Berlaymont (Piazza) on Monday.

A cheque for the grand total of 2.610,94 € was presented to Roy Edwards, President of the Cancer Support Group, for Sandra.
The attached (avant-premiere!) photo will be soon be published on the

Monday you tasted home-made tortilla and sangria prepared by Maria and Maria Garcia Lavandera (SJ), admired and tasted a range of over 360 cupcakes, 50 pannacottas, chocolate cake, bread and apple pie baked by our amateur cooks (Anna, Colleen, Monika, Rafael, Tobias’s Mum & myself) and assisted by the professional, Joelle Van Loven (EUREST).


My thanks also go to Alain Lhermite, District Manager EUREST, for kindly agreeing to let Franco Golisano (Head Chef) assist us and also for the loan of material that made the sale possible!

Last, but not least, I could not forget to thank our wonderful sales team (Angélique, Isabella, Roy, Sabrina & Violanda).

Thanks to you all the event was a huge success.


I will, of course, keep you all updated on Sandra’s progress.



Sabine Willaerts