Francisco Luzón, former banker whose life was changed by ALS and made him a benchmark against the disease, dies

Updated: Wednesday, February 17, 2021 12:23 PM

Posted: 17.02.2021 12:18

Banker Francisco Luzón died on Wednesday at the age of 73 and after years of battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), as sources from the Luzón Foundation, United Against ALS, confirmed that he created with the aim of improving the conditions of patients. and their families live with it.

An economist by training, born January 1, 1948, he has been a key player in the transformation of Spanish and Latin American banking over the past 30 years within entities such as Banco Bilbao Vizcaya, Argentaria and Banco Santander. This passion has also led him to promote educational projects and platforms, based on public-private collaboration and which encourage networking.

With the diagnosis of ALS in 2014, after nearly a year of searching for definitive confirmation, Luzón changed the more pomegranate offices of the Spanish bank to those of the foundation that he himself raised.

“2014 was a horrible year. It was like sailing through a stormy and aimless night (…) My wife, my family and I ran the risk of hopelessness and despair. Fear is what we experience “, did he declare. Francisco himself before the cameras of El Intermedio.

“I don’t eat by mouth anymore. I don’t drink anymore, I don’t speak and I can hardly walk … And all this means that I am no longer autonomous”

His voice in that Gonzo interview in 2017 was not his. It was that of a machine reading in an almost robotic voice what Francisco was writing on his cell phone. But he looked comfortable. It adapted to the daily life of a patient with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, with all that that entails. ALS played against his autonomy and the character of a man accustomed to deciding his steps.

“Physically, every day it gets more and more difficult. I no longer eat by mouth. I don’t drink, I don’t speak and I can barely walk … And all of this means that I am no longer independent. “,” Luzón explained. He knew his physical abilities would never be the same again, but he was reluctant to quit his job at the Foundation that bears his name. Luzón preferred to maintain routines similar to the ones he followed as a banker.

With his work with the Luzón Foundation, he was in charge of making visible the conditions of ALS patients. He faced the disease in a favorable social and economic position. His job as a banker for 40 years allowed him to face the problem with a significant financial cushion, but Francisco himself was aware that this is not common among those affected by ALS. And so, he devoted himself to trying to improve the lives of these patients.

“Always be yourself but enjoy life because it is the only wonderful thing you have”

Optimistic and vital, Luzón dismissed his interview with a message to himself, 30 years old. His words radiated enthusiasm for living and served as a clear example of life for friends and strangers, for the healthy and the sick: “Paco, always be yourself but enjoy life because it is the only wonderful thing you have.. Don’t sell it or throw it away. “

And he did it until the end of his days. Rest in peace.

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