This week, I talked to Luisa Machen, one of the AECC Pink Ladies team, a new department run by foreign volunteers of the Spanish Association Against Cancer (AECC – Asociación Española Contra el Cancer).
The Association can help at whatever point you are at in your cancer diagnosis, treatment or recovery. You may feel you want to speak to someone in your own language about your diagnosis, treatment and how to talk to your loved ones. AECC offer free services, support and friendship by talking to someone in a similar position, or offering physiotherapy after treatment, advice from a social worker as to how to navigate the Spanish health system, or support from a psychologist.
Luisa was born in Spain and has lived here all her life. Luisa lives in Mijas and believes the area is magical!
Luisa you got involved with AECC Pink Ladies – how did that start?
I was diagnosed with cancer and the Spanish ‘Association Against Cancer’ (AECC) helped me, they were brilliant!
How can AECC Pink Ladies help?
They have free services to help any person that has cancer, is going through treatment or has finished their treatment. They also support carers and family members.
What’s been the biggest challenge for making people aware of the services?
The language barrier, that is why the AECC set up the Pink Ladies, we are their foreign department, so to say.
And it’s not just for Ladies?
No, it’s for everyone! They also have a support service for Gentlemen (Pink Panther)
What do you think is the biggest challenge individuals face when they are told they have cancer?
You are in shock, feel scared and your whole life shatters around you in seconds…that’s when the AECC can help you. The first step is our lovely psychologist Monica, we also have a social worker, an emotional therapist, physiotherapist, testimonial volunteers who have gone through your type of cancer with whom you can talk to, and lots more.
How we can help?
You can help in many ways, with ideas to collect funds, volunteering in activities that you enjoy, doing car trips to hospital for cancer patients that don’t have transport, give conversation to cancer patients in hospital that dont speak Spanish, be part of our cancer prevention campaigns or simply share our information and activities on your social media…the more publicity the more people we will be able to help.
What difference will the 1200€ help to fund from the Charity Summer Party?
A big difference! The funds will go to supporting the services we offer and part of our funds go to cancer investigation, which means new cures for the future for everyone.
What is on your wish list for the charity?
That everyone knows what AECC is and what a wonderful charity it is.
How do we find out more?
www.aecc.es or our help line 658 94 69 03.
Where would you like to see the charity in the next 10 years?
I hope that in the next ten years we find a cure for all cancers!
Thank you Luisa