Letizia: One Day in Berlin to Support Research on Rare Diseases

  March 2, 2010 at 7:00 am by

The news today should be that the Princess of Asturias attended as guest of honour, upon invitation of Eva Luise Koehler First Lady of Germany, the presentation ceremony of the third edition of the Prize Eve Louise Köhler of Research on Rare Diseases, an issue (rare diseases) which the Princess is quite involved in. But it isn’t. The great news is that Letizia is for the first time travelling alone; at least these is what mostly of newspapers in Spain and also abroad are standing out.

View the image at Casa Real

On Saunday night she arrived at Regent Hotel in Berlin accompanied by José Zuleta, her private secretary in the shade (in the shade because officially the Princess hasn’t got a private secretary) and the Spanish Minister for Health, Trinidad Jimenez.

Yesterday she began her engagements with a meeting with Berlin’s Mayor, Klaus Wowereit, although this wasn’t the first time they met each other. Klaus Wowereit attended, as representative of the city of Berlin, the activities on the occasion of the 2009 Prince of Asturias Awards, where Berlin was awarded with the Prize for Concord.

Later on, Eva Louise Köhler welcomed the Princess at the Bellevue Palace, residence of the German presidential couple, where a lunch was hosted in honour of this year’s winners, German doctors Karin Jurkat-Rott and Marc-André Weber, who were awarded for their contributions on research on rare diseases.

The Prize Eva Louise Köhler of research on Rare Diseases is organized by the Eva Louise and Horst Köhler Foundation in collaboration with the German Alliance for Rare Diseases (ACHSE). The Presidential couple foundation’s main goal is to help to the research on rare diseases. The Prize it is endowed with 50.000 Euros.

The presentation ceremony took place at the headquarters of Deutsche Telekom. The Princess addressed the audience with a few words in German and continued her speech in Spanish. She congratulated to the Eva Louise and Horst Köhler Foundation for its efforts against the rare diseases; “Research requires specialized and often interdisciplinary teams that are able to share information and experiences, and therefore, the benefits of international cooperation,” she said. Letizia also congratulated to the winners for “his outstanding career and the brilliance of his project that once again demonstrated the traditional scientific capacity that distinguishes the Federal Republic of Germany.”

According to EURODIS (Rare Diseases Europe) a disease is defined as rare in Europe when it affects less than 1 in 2000. Currently there are between 6000 and 8000 rare diseases in Europe and may affect 30 million European Union citizens. 80% of rare diseases are of genetic origin, and are often chronic and life-threatening. Because of that, it is very important the research labor of high international Scientifics as Karin Jurkat-Rott and Marc-André Weber but also is quite important that patients with such diseases have a voice and support of persons as Eve Louise Köhler or Princess Letizia of Spain among many others.

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