The highest international honor for the battle against cancer was awarded in February 2014 to the Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO and President of the Association of Friends of Children with cancer “ELPIDA”, Mrs. Marianna V. Vardinoyannis.
This is the “Grand Prize of the Paris Charter against Cancer” (Grand Prix de la Charte de Paris contre le cancer), which is awarded each year to a personality with continuous action and social work, who has contributed significantly to the battle against cancer. It is worth noting that this was the first time the Grand Prize was awarded to a Greek personality.
The award was presented to Mrs. Marianna V. Vardinoyannis during the event held at the palace of Versailles on the occasion of 14th anniversary of the signing of the “Charter of Paris against Cancer” and the World Day against Cancer (February 4).
Professor of oncology, Dr. David Khayat, a pioneer of the Paris Charter and the global fight against this disease, founder and president of A.V.E.C, during the ceremony of «Grand Prix de la Charte de Paris contre le cancer 2014», noted:
“The prizes of the Paris Charter are awarded on the occasion of the ceremony which was held on February 4, 2000, at the Elysee, for the signing of the Charter by the President Jacques Chirac. He was the initiator of the first plan against cancer, a pioneer project for that time, bold and very generous to our fellow citizens. You are all here to reward all of them who fight against cancer, all different but with the same participation and mobilization necessary… The grand prize of the Charter of Paris tonight is being awarded to Mrs Marianna V. Vardinoyannis. On the 14th anniversary of the Paris Charter against Cancer we honor Mrs. Marianna V. Vardinoyannis, a special woman whose dedication, perseverance and unwavering generosity is highly noted… Considering her actions, we realize to what extent the struggle of Mrs Vardinoyannis against cancer reflects the important values of the Paris Charter against Cancer. For this reason we decided this year to award her with the big prize. The work of Mrs. Vardinoyannis in the last 24 years is, and we believe it sincerely, really admirable! Of course, the fight against cancer we conduct continuously and that brings us all here this evening in this prestigious area is not yet complete and each moment is a battle. Mrs Marianna Vardinoyannis gave Greece a remarkable impetus which can and should serve as a model beyond the borders of her country, because the action of Mrs. Vardinoyannis managed to give the sick children the dignity of changing the way that society confronted them until then… The Committee of the Paris Charter against Cancer also underlines the exceptional intelligence with which the organization ELPIDA conducted its actions. Knowing that unity means power, she managed to create in Greece “this unbeatable alliance” , that the Charter invokes at Article 9 “between the different associations in a society, to give even greater weight to this commitment. What was not at the start of only a private initiative, it has rapidly become a collective project that linked the group of ELPIDA with a network of scientists and the Greek Government since then working collectively, hand in hand, to help children with cancer and leukemia…”
Mrs. Vardinoyannis, deeply touched, receiving the award, said:
“It is a great honor for me to accept this high distinction, the Grand Prix de la Charte de Paris contre le cancer. I would like to express my warmest thanks and my deep gratitude to the President of the Foundation AVEC, Professor David Khayat, the members of the Charter and all who honor me tonight. This award gives me the strength and courage to carry on giving battle by the side of children suffering from cancer. Thank you very much!”.
Famous scientists and researchers from around the world, representatives of international organizations support and protection for cancer patients, politicians, diplomats, businessmen and professionals of international standing who support the fight against cancer attended the event, as every year, organized by the Foundation A.V.E.C. (Association pour la Vie-Espoir contre le Cancer).
Among others was the former First Lady of France, Mrs. Bernadette Chirac, which was also a prime mover of the signing of the Paris Charter against Cancer and many international celebrities.