Belgian Brain Tumour Support Group Established


Posted on: 11/14/2005

R E S S R E L E A S E
14 November 2005
Antwerp, Belgium
For immediate release

Belgian Brain Tumour Support Group Established

“Samen is er Hoop” – “Together there is Hope”

A new support group for brain tumour survivors, their families and carers has been formed in Belgium.

The “Werkgroep Hersentumoren” (“WG - Task Force Brain Tumours”) was established on 8 November in Antwerp by brain tumour survivor Frank Boeye, together with a leading group of Belgian neurosurgeons, neurosurgery nurses, a speech therapist, occupational therapist, physiotherapist and “moral counsellor”.

The founders of Werkgroep Hersentumoren intend to expand their support beyond Antwerp and in time, to become a national brain tumour group, covering all areas of Belgium.

Frank Boeye, a former headmaster and mathematics teacher at a Belgian boarding school, was diagnosed with a Grade 3 Astrocytoma/Grade 4 GBM in 1997. Following neurosurgery and thirty sessions of radiotherapy, he was treated with the anti-estrogen Tamoxifen and remains on this drug today. Frank lives with his wife, Lia, and twelve-year-old daughter, Aster, in Kapellen, Belgium.

Through a friend who attended the European Cancer Patient Coalition’s Masterclass in Cancer Patient Advocacy in Milan last May – in which the International Brain Tumour Alliance took part – Frank Boeye was told about the IBTA and given one of the organisation’s press releases. Following subsequent correspondence with the IBTA, Frank identified a need for Belgian brain tumour patients, their families and carers to have access to a brain tumour support group, and the idea of establishing such an organisation evolved.

“Our goals are very ambitious,” said Frank. “But we have to be ambitious if we are to obtain success with our plans. We are already working on our website and hope to formally launch our new group at the beginning of 2006. We very much look forward to continued cooperation with the IBTA.”

Denis Strangman (Australia), Chair of the IBTA, said: “We congratulate Frank on his excellent initiative in Belgium. Such brain tumour groups are a vital component of survivor and carer support. The IBTA actively encourages the establishment of these groups in countries where they don’t yet exist and we therefore wish Frank and his colleagues every success. We look forward to hearing that more countries around the world are following Frank’s great example.”

For further information on Werkgroep Hersentumoren contact Frank Boeye at frank.boeye@telenet.be. For further information on the International Brain Tumour Alliance (IBTA), see www.theibta.org.
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