WATCH: PN Councillor Whose Mother Died Of Cancer Defends Party's Cry To 'Defeat The Disease'
The Nationalist Party has been accused of showing insensitivity towards cancer patients
Desiree Vella Brincat's speech starts at 7:42
A Nationalist councillor whose mother recently died of cancer has urged the public to rally behind her party’s battlecry to use the European Parliament elections as a platform to defeat the disease.
“My mother spent 13 years living with cancer but died a few months ago,” Desiree Vella Brincat told a PN rally. “The PN has now issued proposals to allocate more EU funds so that we can harshen our fight against cancer and win.”
“Cancer is a reality and everyone you speak to nowadays knows someone who has had cancer”
Desiree was co-opted as a Pembroke councillor last year following the death of her mother Evelyn Vella Brincat and will be contesting the local council election this month.
The PN has taken a fair bit of flak in recent days after it unveiled a billboard with the message "We Will Beat Cancer", with some cancer patients and their relatives, as well as Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, denouncing it as insensitive.
However, while the billboard itself may be somewhat crass, its reasoning certainly isn’t. A few months ago, PN MEP Francis Zammit Dimech issued a set of proposals for Malta to set up the fight against cancer - from a young adults section at the oncology centre, to children patients at the Rainbow Ward to be given the food they want, to ensuring workplaces are free of carcinogens and population-based screening for prostrate cancer.
In her speech, Vella Brincat recounted her own family’s struggles dealing with her mother’s cancer.
“Her illness cost us €96,000 over the first six months and if we weren’t lucky enough to find help, she’d have had to end up in palliative care, where she’d have been administered morphine so that she could live comfortably in the last weeks of her life,” she continued.
She warned that cancer patients are struggling with the high costs of certain medication and urged the government to ensure that the latest medicines on the market are free for patients.