His experience in the business world will help Joaquín Morales Rubio, the new president of the provincial committee of the Asociación Española contra el Cáncer (AECC- Malaga), to fulfil the objectives which have been set for the next four years. One of these is to step up cancer research in order to find a definitive solution for the illness. The charity held one of its regular collection days earlier this week. "We need everyone to help," he says.
What made you accept the position of president of the AECC in Malaga?
For me, this is a fantastic challenge. I accepted because I am delighted to be able to start to give something back to society, because society has been giving me so much since I was born.
What are your first impressions after only a week in the job?
I am pleasantly surprised as I look at it in more depth. There is very good organisation; everything is very well structured. Everyone is pushing in the same direction.
What do you do, professionally?
I am a mentor for companies. In other words, I am an experienced businessman who helps companies to reach their objectives and challenges; to help them get off the ground, on many occasions.
Has the team who will work with you on the committee been decided yet?
Yes, the team is already in mind. We plan to officially constitute the provincial board next week, and two people from the last phase will be continuing. The rest of us are newcomers.
What objectives have been set for the next four years ?
I'm analysing a series of indicators and, depending on those, I will set objectives for the short term. I want us to improve on everything that is important for the Association Against Cancer. For example, increase the number of members and volunteers; try to improve our communication so people know more about us, and for the population to collaborate with us even more.
Funds are badly needed for cancer research but not much public money is assigned for that purpose, is it?
Investment for research is essential. One of the most important missions of the AECC is to contribute funds and to insist that the public institutions and private enterprises do the same. We all have a responsibility to contribute something. With a small amount of effort we can achieve a huge result for society as a whole. It is something which is well worth it. We have to support research, in order to find the definitive solution for this awful illness, because it affects all of us, directly or indirectly, in one way or another.
Prevention is another key to beating cancer.
Yes, definitely. Prevention is something of a priority. We will continue working towards everybody having the opportunity for preventive testing, so that if there is any sign of cancer occurring the risk can be significantly reduced.
The AECC often holds collection days around the province. What do you hope to achieve by that?
These collection days are very important for the AECC, they help us to raise funds which we put towards different aspects of the fight against cancer. Also, it's a way of saying to society that we are still here and we need everybody's help, from a financial as well as a human point of view. We'd like everyone to contribute what they can afford, no matter how little. We have also created a digital money bank for anyone who wants to make a donation that way (https://mihuchacontraelcancer.aecc.es/hd/2000009300).,
Although the AECC is generally well-known, I imagine that you would like to reach even more people in Malaga.
We want to grow in all aspects: in helping patients, providing help for the families, the number of residences we have for people from elsewhere who are being treated in Malaga. We also want to open more local branches of the AECC and for everyone to know about us and become associated with us. Our final objective is to eradicate cancer, and to help the patients while we are doing that.
Does the AECC need a new headquarters in Malaga?
That's something else for us to work on. Our present premises are becoming a bit small for us and we are going to need somewhere bigger eventually, but to be honest that isn't a priority right now.