Our story

The story behind the Anticancer Fund: a letter from founder Luc Verelst

16 October 2009

In early 2009 I founded Reliable Cancer Therapies (RCT), a non-profit organization with the aim of making information on reliable cancer treatment methods available to the general public. By gathering this information, I also want to have experts in various fields investigate the effectiveness of possible unconventional treatments that have not yet been studied and if needed I will fund the development of such treatments. This initiative is the result of my own extensive search for information about cancer treatment, which I undertook some time ago. In August 2008 my sister was diagnosed with uterine cancer. The specific diagnosis was Endometrial Carcinoma Phase IV Grade II and the prognosis was poor. In my attempt to support her in every possible way, I set out to approach this problem with my customary method: a rational and systematic search for a solution, in hopes of determining the best available treatment. My professional activities have been mainly situated in the world of construction and real estate. I was trained as a bioengineer and had also invested in a biotech company in the past. My basic knowledge of biology and biochemistry and my familiarity with biotech terminology as well as the contacts made through this biotech venture were particularly useful in my search. The information I gathered through reading, conversation, the internet, etc. in search of who recommends what treatment where, when, why, and how (the ‘5Ws and H’ approach) was overwhelming, complex and often contradictory. What’s more, in such situations, time is limited and decisions need to be taken immediately. It was highly frustrating. We were probably lucky. My sister ended up in the right place, with the right doctors, and received optimal treatment for her disease. But of course a decision of this importance should not be a matter of luck. It should be based on well documented and fully comprehensible information about the most reliable therapy for a specific type of cancer. I became so intrigued by this problem that I decided to devote myself to finding a possible solution for simplifying the available information and offering it to the general public. The number of cancer patients is increasing each year by 3%, which means that in the near future 25% of our population will be confronted with the question: “Which treatment will be the life-saving remedy for my disease?” We all have a right to make an informed decision on these matters, based on reliable information. Your health, and that of your loved ones, is the greatest good, and therefore, what better area can I invest in as an entrepreneur?

For all of these reasons I decided to create RCT – Reliable Cancer Therapies – and provide it with initial funding. Now, 5 years later, this has evolved into the Belgian private foundation the Anticancer Fund. I will see to it that the organization is be managed professionally and in a results-oriented manner.

 

Luc Verelst