Our actions

Cancer impacts people's lives beyond treatment (long-term side effects, scale of values, etc.). Half of the diagnoses concern people of working age. A return to active life must take into account the specificities of the post-cancer period. For Work & Cancer, adequate support from patients, employers AND colleagues is the key to a winning three-fold equation.
We believe in the ability of everyone to bounce back from a difficulty. Highlighting the experience acquired during the illness (empowerment of the patient), supporting the management and the team in the management of the absence and lifting the taboos around cancer are delicate questions and we know it. This is why we are helping you. Travail & Cancer provides you with EMPOWERMENT tools: awareness-raising in companies and workshops with patients. To go even further, we are also participating in scientific research. Contact us to find together the support you need.

Intervention possible in French and English.. Contact us to develop the program that suits best your business.


Improving the process of returning to work after cancer is triple win, whether we are:

  • An employer who wants tools to support his collaborators in the face of cancer.
  • A patient/survivor treated for cancer who has questions about managing late side effects and his return to work, although he/she developed soft skills and resilience
  • A colleague/a team who has to face a long sick leave, the taboo of cancer and the return to work with possible adjustments. 
  • A caregiver who has to juggle between professional life and the accompaniment of a seriously ill loved one.
Group coaching
Work & Cancer organizes cycles of workshops to prepare people for their return to work after cancer. These are 8 one-morning workshops aimed at supporting people in their journey back to work with coaching tools. The power of these tools combined with the strength of the group, gives impressive results in terms of managing the journey back to work after cancer.
Sponsored by private sponsors and companies, these workshops are intended to be financially accessible to those most concerned: the patients who suffer from the financial toxicity of the disease. 
Supporting the organization of Work & Cancer workshops means participating actively in the fight against cancer and its socioeconomic consequences.
Scientific Research
Having become an expert on the issue, Work & Cancer is now a trusted partner for researchers. To improve cancer care in a holistic way, it is necessary to be able to integrate at the political level what the actors of the return to work after cancer experience every day in the field. Today, research does not stop at eradicating cancer, it focuses on understanding how to improve the quality of life of patients during and after the disease. Because if we talk about surviving cancer, patients will tell you that they want to live! In this context, appropriate support in the return to work has become a major challenge for the European Cancer Plan (Europe's Beating Cancer Plan).

About us

Our mission and our values
Work & Cancer is a non-profit organization born in the spirit of people who have personally lived with cancer or via the experience of a loved one. The organization has as a mission to inform and guide:
  • Companies who pay close attention to their corporate responsibility;
  • Colleagues and teams who feel helpless when it comes to cancer at the workplace;
  • Employees affected by cancer and facing challenges in their return to work;
  • Employees that are carers and thus seek balance between professional life and caring for a sick relative.

On a larger scale, Work & Cancer aims to be present and active in the decision-making process and raise awareness among public opinion on the reintegration into the workforce after the cancer is cured, be it for the patients/survivors and/or their carers.

Fortunately, today, the survival rate has increased dramatically. Investing in the socioprofessional reintegration of patients is a key societal challenge for Work & Cancer.
Our team

Magali Mertens de Wilmars

Secretary General

Magali Mertens de Wilmars - General Secretary
Magali was working as a project and communication manager when she had to deal with cancer in 2011. She realizes that when the disease goes away, she still leaves many questions, especially on the difficult management of side effects and the need to take back the reins of his life. Anxious to bring together her experience to act, she became a certified coach specializing in post-cancer cancer, disability manager,NLP Master practicionner (and in trainong for Practicionner in hypnosis). Its slogan "to make the experience of the disease a springboard, not a brake". She is also the founder of the website www.vieetcancer.be and author of coaching books for Editions Jouvence.
To find out more about all of her activities, please visit www.magalimertens.com


The Cancer Foundation launches RECONNECT!
Each year, more than 26,000 people of working age are diagnosed with cancer. This means that one day or another, every employer in Belgium risks being confronted with the reality of an employee who returns during or after a heavy career. However, returning to work plays an essential role in the self-esteem of people with cancer and contributes to the healing process. This is why the Foundation against Cancer wishes to offer companies a tool to facilitate the return to work of these people. The RECONNECT tool offered by the Fondation contre le Cancer is a free support platform intended for anyone in the company faced with the problem of an employee's return to work during or after cancer: HR managers, managers, hierarchical line , prevention counsellors. This e-learning tool is intended to be fun and dynamic and offers many tips to be able to react as well as possible in very concrete situations.
EMPOWERME - The first app that offers you free coaching to return to work after cancer
Returning to work is important in the healing process, but it is often complicated. However, people come back stronger from "invisible" skills. To help you become an actor when you return to work, this coaching program in 8 videos, accompanies you step by step. A bonus video of Psy Qui Parle enlightens you on the psychological aspects. The EMPOWERME app is available on Google Play and Apple Store.
"Returning to work after cancer - Reintegration: a collective process", Ed. Jouvence
A book acclaimed by HR Square: An estimated 3.4 million people are newly diagnosed with cancer each year in Europe, and almost half are of working age. Whether it is as a patient, loved one, colleague or employer, we are all concerned, underlines Magali Mertens from Wilmars who offers us an enlightening guide for a return to work described as a collective process.  
A mindmap of all stakeholders to help you through your return to work journey For now the website is only available in French, we hope to be able to offer you an English version in 2020! www.retourautravail.be
Webinar Fondation contre le Cancer : return to work after cancer with a coach
Watch the replay in French  Download Handbook "Work & cancer for employer" from the European Cancer League
Healthcare professional webinar: returning to work after cancer
Dr Jean-Marc Desmet, founder of the non-profit organization "Soigner en conscience" organized a webinar for his peers to talk about the challenges of returning to work after cancer.

Relevant figures

Discover our latest news

Current Chronicles of Vocational Training - The Podcast
You are a trainer or wish to become one, you are in training or a future trainee, well this new podc (...)
Podcast Chérie FM: Let's be inspired, the journey of Magali Mertens, coach
Sara Rodriguez inspires listeners to Chérie, every day at 11:40 a.m., with her sequence dedicated to (...)
Tendances Première: The Dossier - Returning to work after cancer: What can NLP do?
Return to work after cancer: What can NLP do? Magali Mertens has been raising awareness in instituti (...)
The "Return to work plan" in force from the 1st of january 2023
Press release from the cabinet of Frank Vandenbroucke, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Social (...)


They support us