The awards commemorate Joan's legacy. / sur

Provincial government creates the Joan Hunt awards

The prizes, which commemorate the legacy of the Cudeca founder, will be held in June next year and recognise the contribution of the international community in Malaga province

MATÍAS STUBER

The Joan Hunt awards, created by the provincial government to honour and remember the Cudeca founder’s legacy, will seek to distinguish people and institutions from the foreign community for the positive contributions they make to the province.

The first edition will be held next June, also coinciding with the first anniversary of Joan Hunt's death at the age of 92.

Hunt, originally from Liverpool, founded the Cancer Care association, better known as Cudeca, in 1992.

More than a thousand people with terminal cancer are treated with palliative care every year.

This Monday 25 October, these awards were launched by the president of the provincial government, Francisco Salado, at an event attended by the CEO and medical director of the Cudeca Foundation, Marisa Martín, the mayor of Malaga, Francisco de la Torre, the general secretary of Families of the Junta de Andalucía, Ana Carmen Mata and the commercial director of Caixabank Málaga, Gerardo Cuartero, among others.

"We have always understood that Cudeca is one of the most important institutions in our province. It brings life and care when the end is near. Cudeca fills a void in our welfare state," Salado explained.

"Joan made us better as a society," he added.

During the event, a video was shown to remember Joan's life, which was marked by the death of her husband Fred from cancer.

When Fred was diagnosed, the retired couple were living on the Costa del Sol.

The diagnosis became a personal motivation to create Cudeca when Joan Hunt was 65 years old.

Martín, current CEO and medical director of Cudeca, who was also the doctor who treated Fred during his illness, has welcomed the initiative launched by the provincial government and has said that these awards will provide a "nice opportunity to pay tribute to Joan."

In addition, she said that Cudeca will start a campaign in November to raise money to allow the foundation to continue to give people access to Cudeca's palliative care.

“The awards,” according to Salado, “will have different categories and are aimed at the foreign community in the province of Malaga, which is made up by about 270,000 people. The British community is the largest group, but there are also German, French and Finnish people. We want to highlight the importance of this population for Malaga," he explained.

De la Torre, who closed the presentation of these awards, also highlighted Hunt's work with Cudeca, "All our gratitude to Cudeca and Joan. She has shown how a profound solidarity movement is created from personal motivation," he said.