Crown Princess Mary presented the Danish Cancer Society’s annual prize to Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen and Bent Hansen, the Chairman of the Danish Regions.
The ceremony took place at the Royal Danish Playhouse in Copenhagen, and was held on World Cancer Day.
President Rasmussen and Bent Hansen were awarded for their work with cancer packs. Over a decade ago, when President Rasmussen was the Minister of Health, the pair created cancer packs, which pushed for quick investigation of symptoms and quick treatment, as they felt that cancer should be classified as an acute disease.
To avoid patients getting sicker while waiting for treatment, President Rasmussen and Hansen developed cancer packs.
“The cancer packs have saved the lives of thousands of cancer patients in Denmark and are the biggest single improvement for cancer patients in recent times. There were many people who felt that we got the cancer packs. But the decisive were the two politicians who said that it should be rectified now,” said Dorthe Crüger, the President of the Danish Cancer Society in a press release.
“We must listen to what the patients experience. That was what made the big difference.”
Crown Princess Mary also spoke before presenting the Prize to President Rasmussen and Hansen, saying that, “These are two people who showed ambitions, stubbornness and cooperation. Two people who had a burning and deep-hearted vision that this would be successful.”
“They had the courage and they insisted,” she said.
Crown Princess Mary also quoted a cancer patient who’d received treatment before the men introduced the cancer packs, noting that the patient said, “One thing is that I did not get any guidance. But the worst thing is that the waiting time was so long, that it is no longer possible to make me quick.”
She then quoted a few cancer patients who have received treatment since the cancer packs have been introduced, noting that one had said: “My course has been quite amazing. It has gone fast. The hospital has always been ready for the next step. It gives a sense of security.”
The Danish Cancer Society’s prize is 50,000 Danish kroner.