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A Success Story: German Cancer Aid

'Deutsche Krebshilfe' is the leading cancer organization in the world--President Schipanski leads it into the new century

By Joe F. Bodenstein


Andy Warhol: 'Portrait Dr. Mildred Scheel'. The First Lady of Germany founded the German Cancer Aid. She was a friend of Andy Warhol and of many other artists, who supported her in the fight against cancer. Dr. Scheel had roots in the United States of America.

Foto Copyright Marco, Bonn


Berlin/Bonn (bpb) The German Cancer Aid (Deutsche Krebshilfe) is the leading organization of its kind in the world. Dr. Mildred Scheel, the wife of the German President Walter Scheel, founded the GCA on September 25, 1974 in Bonn. She took the opportunity as a First Lady to fight all kinds of cancer. Mildred Scheel died on May 13, 1985 of cancer. She was a very popular lady. The goals of this non-profit organization continue to be supported by millions of people.

In 1999 Prof. Dr. Dagmar Schipanski became the President of the German Cancer Aid Society, the largest private organization in the fight against cancer.

In her political engagement, she is the Thuringian Minister of Science, Research and Art. Dr. Schipanski is guided by the successful motto: "Help, Research, Information". To the managing team of the German Cancer Aid (www.krebshilfe.de) belongs Dr. Eva Kalbheim, a cancer expert. She is the press spokesman, and also in charge of information on the national and international level. Mildred Scheel herself appointed the managing director Gerd Nettekoven to the Cancer Aid.

"Early detection of cancer offers the best chance for complete cure", Nettekoven said. It is his responsibility that the donations from the general public are used only for projects that benefit everyone. The German Cancer Aid, a non-government organization, depends only on its fundraising and donations from the public.

"We support research projects to improve diagnosis, therapy, aftercare and self-help", Schipansky said in an interview with Prometheus. "We help improve equipment and personnel in hospitals, and assist to remedy shortages and emergencies in institutions that carry out therapy, research and rehabilitation.

"Since its foundation by Dr. Mildred Scheel, early detection of breast cancer has been an important objective of the Deutsche Krebshilfe", Dr. Kalbheim said. "Within the funding program, the improvement of early detection of breast cancer in the new German states (former East-Germany), the German Cancer Aid has helped to bringing also these areas to the forefront of the technical development. For instance, in 1996 the University Medical Center Jena received a mammography acquisition system worth of $ 160,000", reminded Kalbheim.

Other important areas concerning breast cancer include the inter-group project to explore family history of breast and ovarian cancer patients, which is supported at 12 centers in the Federal Republic of Germany, as well as quality assurance, digital image exchange, and investigation of the feasibility of screening mammography.


International cooperation and solidarity wanted



The President of the German Cander Aid: Prof. Dr. Dagmar Schipanski

Photo Marco-VG, Bonn



Other tasks of the German Cancer Aid are: people who are in distress due to their illness can get advice, help and in certain cases also financial support. 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 of cancer.

The German Cancer Aid not only informs about the various types of cancer but also about the possibilities of cancer prevention; it also motivates the population to get periodic medical check-ups. "We organize and support medical education, further education courses and information events in order to improve the fight against cancer", Dr. Eva Kalbheim said.

"The fight against cancer is a global mission", President Dr. Schipanski said. "Therefore, Germany supports international cooperation in cancer research. This disease is a constant danger to everyone. The danger will stop at nothing, neither prominent nor rich people. That's why we mourn the people who died from cancer all over the world: Christiane Herzog, Hans Rosenthal, George Harrison, Raissa Gorbatschow and Linda McCartney. And also the Shah Reza Pahlevi of Persia, the artists Constanze Engelbrecht, Klaus Wennemann and Dieter Krebs, the politician Lea Rabin and King Hussein of Jordan.


Copyright 2002 West-Art, PROMETHEUS 85/2002



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Copyright 2002 West-Art

PROMETHEUS, Internet Bulletin for Art, Politics and Science.

Nr. 85, Winter 2002