Young man with cancer inspires with resilience and generosity: Gilles Van der Spek’s remarkable fundraising efforts
BRUSSELS – In the face of adversity, Gilles van der Spek, a 35-year old diagnosed with incurable cancer, has shown resilience and determination. He started raising funds for the Anticancer Fund and in doing so, embarked on a journey that captured hearts globally.
Gilles’ inspiring story started with a promise to support the Anticancer Fund, an organisation committed to researching cancer treatments and empowering patients. What unfolded, was beyond remarkable. Fuelled by his indomitable spirit, Gilles initiated the #profitivisme campaign, inviting others to embrace life’s joys despite challenging circumstances.
“You may have been given a cactus, but you don’t have to sit on it”, asserts Gilles, reflecting his philosophy of staying optimistic, against all odds. Gilles has a stage 4 pancreatic neuroendocrine cancer, and was told he’s medically incurable.
His journey of transformation began after his diagnosis, two years ago: he discovered biking, and decided to take on a monumental challenge. He set his sights on the Silk Road Mountain Race in Kyrgyzstan, an endurance race of 1.880 km, to be performed in just 14 days. Unfortunately a wrist fracture shattered this dream, but Gilles remains undeterred and another race is already planned.
Gilles’ commitment to the Anticancer Fund has been nothing short of extraordinary. His fundraising efforts have generated more than 71.000 euro for the Anticancer Fund. The inception of #profitivisme – a fusion of ‘profiter’ (to enjoy) and ‘positivisme’ (positivism), has resonated deeply with a wide audience. “I want to Give back, Inspire and Ride”, says Gilles Van der Spek.
Gilles will officially launch #profitivisme this weekend.
The Anticancer Fund acknowledges Gilles’ efforts with gratitude. The donations will be dedicated to advancing cancer research and offering reliable information to patients, through the My Cancer Navigator service.
Thank you Gilles for supporting our fight! Inspired by Jacques Brel, we wish you endless dreams and the furious desire to realising more of them. You are our hero.
Or do you want to fundraise for better cancer research and care? Please get in touch: info [at] anticancerfund.org (subject: I%20would%20like%20to%20fundraise%20for%20the%20Anticancer%20Fund, body: Please%20give%20me%20some%20options%20to%20assist%20my%20fundraising.)