Romania-based activist and cancer survivor named Moldova’s “Young Person of the Year”

Victor Gîrbu, a 27-year-old lawyer and cancer survivor living in Bucharest, has received the Young Person of the Year Award in his native Republic of Moldova, in recognition for his outstanding work as a patient advocate for the Romanian-headquartered NGO Youth Cancer Europe.

Video (in Romanian, with English subtitles):

Earlier this year, Victor attracted considerable media attention in his home country,  following a speech he gave at the European Parliament’s hemicycle in Brussels to mark World Cancer Day, on February 4th. His speech, in which he not only shared his life story as a survivor, but also displayed sheer determination in addressing the key issues currently affecting young people living with cancer, received a standing ovation from an audience of MEPs that included the European Commission’s President, Ursula von der Leyen.

Those same key issues, which include financial discrimination, Cross Border Health, fertility preservation, mental health services and dental and reconstructive surgery access for patients and survivors, are addressed in the white paper that YCE launched at the same venue in 2018, in an event that revealed that cancer survivors across Europe receive harsher financial discrimination than convicted criminals.

In a ceremony aired on Sunday on TVR Moldova (Chisinau’s subsidiary of Romania’s public TV network), Victor dedicated the award to Youth Cancer Europe and its members from 31 countries, who continue to fight to bring attention to these key issues and push for changes at institutional and social levels.

Victor Gîrbu was first diagnosed with Wilms’ Tumor at just six months of age, undergoing his first surgery a month later. His cancer battle continued until 2010, and today he’s able to live a normal life with approximately 70% of his left kidney. He is a passionate cancer activist, having taken part in a number of events organised by Youth Cancer Europe around the continent; but that is not all there is to him – as he said in his EU Parliament speech: “Patients are also lawyers, scientists, media specialists, economists and politicians”. Victor, like many other cancer ambassadors working alongside YCE, is ready to offer his first-hand knowledge and expertise to the European stakeholders to help solve the issues he has faced, and which so many others continue to do.

It is also estimated that there  will be a doubling of cancer cases by 2035 and that an estimated 40% of the population will face cancer at some point in their lives. Cancer is the second leading cause of mortality after cardiovascular disease and places a huge burden on our health and social systems. Yet despite these figures, 40% of all cancer cases can be prevented just by implementing what we already know about the disease today – and this is just one of the areas where Youth Cancer Europe will continue to drive for change.

For more information about Youth Cancer Europe please visit

cancercancer survivorlawyerRepublic of MoldovaRomania-based activistVictor GîrbuWilms’ TumorYoung Person of the Year Award
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