By bpb-Korrespondent Joe F. Bodenstein
Intensive search for the genetic key to overcome cancer is an important goal of the German Cancer Aid. The photograph shows the sculpture "St. Peter with the key to Eternity" in front of the famous basilica in Rome. The figure is of symbolic importance for scientists and inventors around the world.
Berlin/Bonn (bpb) The German Cancer Aid (Deutsche Krebshilfe) has become the foremost and unique organization of its kind world-wide. The Deutsche Krebshilfe (German Cancer Aid) was founded on September 25, 1974 by Dr. Mildred Scheel, the late wife of the German President Walter Scheel. The goal of this non-profit organisation "Deutsche Krebshilfe e.V." is to fight all manifestations of cancer. International cooperation among scientists is supported.
In her position of the "First Lady" in Germany, Mrs. Scheel was engaged to build up a strong organization. The German Cancer Aid became the largest organization supported by the people. "Also the smallest donations from people are welcome", said Mildred Scheel . She wanted solidarity, and refused to accept money and donations from the international pharmaceutical industry. "We want be and must be absolutely independent of any producer of medicine", she said.
In the same way, the present president of German Cancer Aid, Professor Dr. Dagmar Schipanski, is leading the organization to further success. She said in an interview with the internet bulletin "Prometheus" for politics and science: "Following the motto "Help. Research. Information. " the German Cancer Aid supports research projects to improve diagnosis, therapy, after-care and self-help. It helps to improve the equipment and personnel in hospitals and to remedy shortages and emergencies in institutions for therapy, research and rehabilitation." People who are in distress due to their illness of cancer get advice, help and in certain cases also financial support.
Information officer Dr. Eva Kalbheim said in Bonn: "The German Cancer Aid and its "Dr. Mildred Scheel Foundation for Cancer Research" support numerous innovative research projects in order to develop new methods of therapy and diagnosis against cancer." The German Cancer Aid not only informs about the various types of cancer, but also about the possibilities of cancer prevention and motivates the population to visit medical check-ups. "We organize and support medical education, further education courses and information events in order to improve the fight against cancer", Dr. Kalbheim said.
"Without hope there is no success" Mildred Scheel once said. The founder of the German Cancer Aid is still an idol in the fight against cancer. The photograph shows the marble sculpture "Blossom of Hope" by the sculptor Renate Stendar-Feuerbaum.
Example for Organizations in Switzerland and Austria
The German Cancer Aid soon became a shining example for similar organizations in Austria and Switzerland. Due to the great personality of Dr. Mildred Scheel, Germans trusted her very much. From the very beginning, even simple people gave something to this charity fighting the cancer. But most of the money that the organisation has been getting comes from their fundraising. "We are glad that this support continues", Professor Schipanski said. "We are thankful to all, who make a provision in their will to leave some of their property to the German Cancer Aid. This enables us to support research work, and give financial help to hospitals and sick people."
The German Cancer Aid has published a booklet "Ihr letzter Wille" (Your Last Will). It contains information how to word in one's last will and testament that a certain property or a part of it should be given to the Cancer Aid to fight this horrible disease.
The booklet can be ordered free of charge at www.krebshilfe.de . It is helpful to all those who want to do something good at the end of their life for the advancement of human medicine and for the benefit of all in our society.
© PROMETHEUS 109/2006
PROMETHEUS, Internet Bulletin for Art, News, Politics and Science. Nr. 109, JULY 2006