Victor Gîrbu, a 26-year-old lawyer and cancer survivor from Romania, spoke at the European Parliament’s hemicycle on behalf of Youth Cancer Europe, at the February 4th 2020 World Cancer Day event that saw the European Commission launch the EU-wide public consultation on Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan.

His powerful speech received a standing ovation from an audience that included Ursula von der Leyen (President of the European Commission), Stella Kyriakides (European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety) and numerous cancer stakeholders.

Speaking at the event, Gîrbu said: “Patients are also lawyers, scientists, media specialists, economists and politicians. We can see the lacks and the needs, but we are motivated to offer solutions and help solve these problems. We don’t just sit back and wait for the officials to solve them for us and then criticise them if they fail; we offer our knowledge and expertise and commit to solving problems together. Europe is made up of some really smart people who also have first-hand experience with serious diseases, and if we call for anything, it is for closer collaboration with The Commission, stronger dialogue and a more honest recognition of the strength of the patient community.”