Axel Kahn, geneticist and president of the League against cancer, is dead

Axel Kahn, geneticist and president of the League against cancer, is dead
Axel Kahn, geneticist and president of the League against cancer, is dead

Axel Kahn, president of the National Cancer League died Tuesday of cancer, the organization announced. The famous doctor and geneticist was 76 years old. “I’m fighting cancer and it turns out that the patrol caught up with me,” he said on Inter in mid-May.

Geneticist Axel Kahn © AFP / JOEL SAGET

He concludes: “What is happiness? It is the moment from which you experience what you hoped to live. Where there is a match between the feeling of your life and what you hoped for. Dead or not dead. , I was intensely happy! “

Internationally renowned researcher Axel Kahn died of cancer on Tuesday at the age of 76, a little over a year after the diagnosis of his disease. The treatments were working well but her cancer suddenly got worse and metastasized. Doctor of medicine and doctor of science, oncohematologist, geneticist, director of research at Inserm, director of the Cochin Institute, he was elected Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Cancer League in July 2019. He had to leave his seat on May 11 because of the worsening of his illness.

In an interview with France Inter on May 17, he explained his decision: “I was planning to finish a whole series of fundamental reorganizations to better fight against cancer, to have more resources, to better help sick people. I will take advantage of the days to come to say to each of the leaders’ Help me, continue my fight, I’m counting on you. ‘Our fight against cancer is just, our fight for people with cancer is eminently just. “

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In recent months he has communicated about the end of his life

Axel Kahn communicated on his cancer, considering it necessary to inform. He did not hesitate to mention his death, when the doctors gave him only a few months to live. “My illness was made public from the moment it could no longer be killed”, he explained on France Inter.

I will now fight two fights, one that I will fight alone, and make the most of the little time I have left.

“What is happiness? This is the moment from which you experience what you hoped to experience”, he said. “Where there is a match between the feeling of your life and what you hoped for. Dead or not dead, I was intensely happy! After death, there is nothing, but there is perhaps the memory. that you can keep from me, and that is a form of immortality. “

He had published on May 21, on his Facebook account, a letter entitled “The end of the way” intended for his friends and his family. Axel Kahn spent his last weeks in the countryside, in the family home, surrounded by his children and his partner.

He had also launched a few weeks ago a blog entitled “The peaceful chronicle of the end of a life itinerary”, where he posted thoughts, always with dignity and without bitterness. He had taken the wolf as his animal mascot, in reference to Alfred de Vigny’s wolf. And it was the announcement of the stop of this blog, Thursday, June 17, which marked the end of his fight:

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A doctor with an extraordinary scientific background

Doctor of medicine with a specialty in hematology (1974), Axel Kahn was also Doctor of Science (1976). He became a researcher at Inserm with a specialization in biochemistry and then joined the Cochin Institute. He spent his entire career as a researcher at Inserm, becoming director of exceptional class research in 1993. At the same time, he practiced medicine until 1992, notably at Beaujon hospital. His work focuses on molecular genetics applied to the study of hereditary diseases, in particular hematological diseases.

A man engaged in politics

Axel Kahn describes himself as a humanist. Member of the Communist Party in the 1970s, he then joined the Socialist Party after the election of François Mitterrand but left two years later. In the 2008 municipal elections, he supported the candidates Bertrand Delanoë in Paris and Pierre Cohen in Toulouse.

In 2011, the doctor was a member of Martine Aubry’s campaign team for the 2012 presidential election in charge of the “refoundation of progress”. It is then invested PS candidate for the 2012 legislative elections in the second constituency of Paris (grouping together the 5th, 6th and 7th arrondissements), a constituency traditionally on the right. In the first round, he was beaten in the second for by François Fillon.

He had embarked on an initiatory journey

The doctor, geneticist, researcher, honorary president of the University of Paris Descartes, author of numerous essays, traveled France for the first time from the Ardennes to the Basque Country in 2013, crossing in particular Burgundy and the Massif Central by making 72 stages. He shares on social networks his impressions of the stage and reflections which are the subject of a book. During a second trip, in 2014, he left from Pointe du Raz in Finistère to reach Menton, in the Alpes-Maritimes, again in 72 stages. He recounted his journeys in the books: “Thoughts along the way “ and “Between two seas” (Stock).

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