Sister Leontine was born in 1923 in Borgerhout, near Antwerp. She was the oldest child in a family of 8 children. She obtained a degree in medicine and was at the helm of the Brussels Sint-Jan Hospital for 25 years between 1964 and 1988.
After retiring in 1988, she first followed a special course for palliative care abroad, before setting up Belgium's very first care centre for terminally ill people in the Sint Jan Hospital in 1990.
In 1993, she became Doctor Honoris Causa at the KUB (Catholic University of Brussels). Ten years later, she was honoured by King Albert for her pioneering work.