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Llavaneres Against Cancer: 50 years supporting research



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Back in February, we sat down with Salomé Royo Martori, president of the charity Llavaneres contra el Càncer, to talk about how they came about and their aspirations this year, on the occasion of their 50 th anniversary. 

Llavaneres contra el Càncer has supported cancer research at IRB Barcelona twice since 2019.




Thank you for taking the time to talk to us Salomé. Could you tell us about how Llavaneres contra el Càncer came about?

Llavaneres contra el Càncer was officially set up in 1974.

I remember that one of the first events that the charity organised was a football match. But this was a match with a difference! It was unmarried women against married women and lots of people from the village turned out to support them. 

The movement to raise money for cancer research was well received by the local people and so every year since we have organised fundraising events in support of cancer research. 


Which organisations have you supported since the organisation started?

Llavaneres contra el Càncer supported the Spanish Association Against Cancer for many years. I became president in 2003  and a few years later we decided to take control over who our donations were going to and what they were being used for. 

We raise money for research organisations.  We recognise that research brings about advances. But it is costly and we want to support it. The recipients of our donations vary from year to year. 

Over the years, we have donated to IRB Barcelona, Hospital Clínic, Hospital Vall d´Hebron, Hospital Can Ruti, ICO Girona, and Hospital Sant Joan de Déu. Last year, the proceeds from our fundraising activities were donated to IRB Barcelona and Can Ruti.


How did you find out about IRB Barcelona?

Back in 2019, when we were searching for projects to support, we came across the Metastasis Challenge and we contacted the Institute to find out more. We have donated to this project twice.


How does it go about raising funds for cancer research? 

When I became president back in 2003, we only organised a handful of events. But these days there is a lot more going on. 

From the outset, a festival was held in the middle of the town hall square, with a small bar with drinks, such as cava, soft drinks and a local pastry. Over the years, the festival has been consolidated and now takes place in a larger space (Ca l'Alfaro Park), with a bar service where all attendees can dine while enjoying the show.

The summer festival always takes place on the last weekend of July and it is accompanied by a large raffle, which we can do thanks to various donations from collaborators and entities in the town itself and its surroundings.

In spring and summer, we sell plants donated by two plant growers in Sant Andreu de Llavaneres, and in October, we have a classic activity, the popular walk for Breast Cancer. In fact, in 2023 there were 300 participants! Whole families, even the little ones took part, so it's not a difficult walk. There are also many dogs. Last year there must have been about 40!


How did you become the president? 

I was heavily involved in the charity and had been participating in the summer festival for 20 years. I have always enjoyed being able to help people and the responsibility of becoming the president of Llavaneres against Càncer came naturally to me and I have found it highly rewarding. 


Have you been touched by cancer? 

Everyone is affected by cancer directly or indirectly. My grandfather died of lung cancer and my father died very young of the same disease.


As president of this charity, what are you most proud of?

I am very proud of the team around me; thanks to them and all the volunteers we can rise to the great annual fundraising challenge. Without them, none of this would be possible.

In particular, I am proud of the ability of this team to connect and raise awareness in the town of Sant Andreu de Llavaneres about cancer, which affects us all.


It’s the 50th anniversary of the charity this year. What do you have lined up and what is your goal?

Our fundraising capacity was greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. But last year we recovered and raised €25,000 (€12.000 for IRB Barcelona and €12,000 for ICO Badalona (Can Ruti)). To mark our 50th anniversary, we want to break through the €25,000 barrier… that's our goal!

 We have prepared a year full of events with something every month from April. To commemorate our 50th anniversary, we remain firm in our commitment, organising more diverse events to raise even more money for research, such as the sale of the roses for Sant Jordi, a lyrical concert in the church, a padel tournament, a pitch&putt competition, a charity football match for veteran female players, and more...


How can people find out about the events lined up this year by Llavaneres contra el Càncer?

You can consult the Llavaneres council’s list of organisations and our Instagram account. Everyone is welcome!

About IRB Barcelona

The Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) pursues a society free of disease. To this end, it conducts multidisciplinary research of excellence to cure cancer and other diseases linked to ageing. It establishes technology transfer agreements with the pharmaceutical industry and major hospitals to bring research results closer to society, and organises a range of science outreach activities to engage the public in an open dialogue. IRB Barcelona is an international centre that hosts 400 researchers and more than 30 nationalities. Recognised as a Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence since 2011, IRB Barcelona is a CERCA centre and member of the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST).