Women, power and cancer:

A Lancet Commission


Piga Fernandez Kaempffer


Piga Fernandez Kaempffer_photo.jpg

In 1995 I received my first cancer diagnosis, which unfortunately was incorrect, so this meant 7
years of very aggressive treatments and very bad quality of life, until 2002, when after asking for a second opinion, I received the correct diagnosis: GIST (Gastro Intestinal Stromal Tumor)and started the appropriate treatment, which has kept me alive until today.

My advocacy work:

While living in Guatemala and Honduras, ( 1975 – 1995) I collaborated as a volunteer with The U.S. Government Women´s Association and with the Chilean Ladies Association in social development projects.
After being diagnosed with GIST, I started working for The Life Raft Group, www.liferaftgroup.org which´s mission is to enhance survival and quality of life for people livingwith GIST through patient-powered research, education and empowerment, and global advocacy efforts. I started working as a volunteer and now I have a full-time job as a Global Relations Coordinator and as the Coordinator of Alianza GIST.

At the same time, in 2015 I founded Fundación GIT Chile, www.gistchile.cl a nonprofit ONG, at the beginning dedicated to support GIST patients, but since 2016 we work for patients with all types of gastrointestinal cancers and their families with four main pillars of action: psychological support, education and information, collaborating with research and advocacy.

In Chile, since 2015, we have worked advocating for access to high-cost treatments by the “Ricarte Soto Law”. So far, we achieved the universal coverage of 2 lines of treatments for GIST and one for TNE. Actually advocating for access to a third-line treatment for GIST as well as for other high-cost treatments for other gastrointestinal treatments.

Also, since 2016 worked advocating for The Chilean Cancer Law, which was finally promulgated in 2020.
In 2017 started to work to create ACHAGO www.achago.cl (Chilean Association of Oncological Patient Groups ) which was legally constituted in 2018 and actually I am its president.