A volunteer helps out at a Pancreatic Cancer Spain event.

Pancreatic Cancer Spain was founded in 2014 as a chapter of GEPAC, the Spanish Cancer Patients Group. Its mission is to ensure that pancreatic cancer patients have timely and affordable access to the best treatment and care available, to improve early diagnosis and to improve the quality of life for all those affected by pancreatic cancer — patients, families, caregivers and relatives.

The organization works in the following areas: advocacy, research, capacity building/education and partnership.

“We guide patients, helping them navigate the healthcare system, and making sure they have access to reference centers and specialized care,” said Patients and Public Affairs Manager Natacha Bolaà±os, who is also a cancer rehabilitation specialist with Pancreatic Cancer Spain.

“We ensure patients feel empowered to make informed decisions about their treatment and care in part by providing educational resources and programs, facilitating information about diagnosis, new treatments and clinical trials, and by providing psycho-oncological support for patients and their families.”

Pancreatic Cancer Spain represents and defends the interests and rights of pancreatic cancer patients at the national and international level.
The organization advocates to make cancer a priority on the Spanish health policy agenda — it plays an active role in shaping national healthcare policies that affect cancer patients and in creating national laws to satisfy patients’ needs.

“We also call for research on survivorship issues and advocate for better healthcare and social services for patients,” Bolaà±os said.

She added that the organization was proud to be a WPCC member and hoped to share experiences, knowledge and best practices, as well as establish alliances and common goals.

“I also look forward to learning more about fundraising ideas that can be successfully translated to Europe, since fundraising practices here are much different than in the U.S.”