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Manneken Pis dressed as cancer patient for World Cancer Day

09:34 05/02/2020

Manneken Pis was dressed up as a cancer patient on Tuesday to mark World Cancer Day.

The statue donned a hospital gown and had an intravenous drip attached to him for a chemotherapy session.

The costume was donated by the Belgian Foundation Against Cancer, in honour of the 350,000 patients in Belgium who have recovered from cancer over the past 10 years.

It is Manneken Pis's 1,042nd costume. In Belgium, 68,000 new cancer diagnoses are made every year - and 29,000 people die from the disease.

"The fight continues," said Dr Anne Boucquiau from the Foundation Against Cancer. "The easiest cancer to treat is the one that can be prevented altogether.

"We therefore ask all governments to make the fight against cancer a priority."

Caroline Pauwels, rector of Brussels' Dutch-speaking university VUB, has spoken about her cancer experience on the occasion of World Cancer Day.

Pauwels, who is running for a second term as rector, learned last June that she had stomach and esophageal cancer.

In an interview with La Première radio, she said: "It did not overwhelm me. My reaction was immediately to say to me: I need to face up to this.

"I was already optimistic by nature. I think I am even more optimistic since I got sick. I was amazed at what people could do for me.

"The therapy has a fairly heavy impact. There are days when I tell myself that there is no future. But I live from day to day. I try to be positive."

She added: "It is a disease that can be cured. Knowing that medicine is advancing, that we are spending a lot of money on cancer research and that there are highly talented researchers, all this is very positive."

Photo: Nils Quintelier/Belga

Written by The Bulletin