Athens, 15 February 2021
H.E. the President of the Hellenic Republic Ms Katerina Sakellaropoulou stood by the side of the children of “ELPIDA” on Monday, February 15, 2021, on the occasion of the International Childhood Cancer Day, visiting the Pediatric Oncology Unit “Marianna V. Vardinoyannis – ELPIDA”, thus sending a strong message that childhood cancer can and must be defeated.
Ms. Sakellaropoulou was welcomed by the President of “ELPIDA – Association of Friends of Children with cancer” Mrs. Marianna V. Vardinoyannis and the CEO of the Children’s Hospitals “Hagia Sophia” and “P. & A. Kyriakou “Mr. Manolis Papasavvas.
Mrs Vardinoyannis welcomed the President of the Hellenic Republic, stressing that “Your visit, on this symbolic day and at the beginning of the fourth decade of our Association, is a great honor and a special moment in the history of ELPIDA, while at the same time it sends the most moving message of support to our young patients and their parents who are struggling day and night to save their children and return home healthy and strong. This fourth decade that begins with you, finds us optimistic and determined to continue our work without hesitationat the front line of the fight against childhood cancer”.
Mrs. Vardinoyannis thanked Ms. Sakellaropoulou for her sensitivity towards the children of “ELPIDA” and her valuable support and awarded her with the highest distinction of the Association, the “Wreath of ELPIDA” along with a statue of a mother holding a child in her arms, as well as a gold ribbon that symbolizes the fight against childhood cancer.
Mrs. Vardinoyannis mentioned that “With your presence and your invaluable support, which express your deep social sensitivity, you give us strength and courage to continue our efforts. Your important national mission and your outstanding work for our country touch our souls deeply as you are for all of us and for me personally, a role model of a Greek woman for the new generation of our country, and especially for the young girls. Through your great action, your personality, your dynamism, your ethos, your modesty and your humanity you inspire us all. On behalf of the whole family of “ELPIDA”, I would like to say a big thank you from the bottom of my heart for your visit and your invaluable support. By thanking you, the first citizen of our country, let me thank all Greeks, all over the world, who have created a great chain of love for our children.As a minimum “thank you” and expression of gratitude for your support, we would like to offer you the “Wreath of ELPIDA”, as well as the statue of our Association as a reminder of your constant presence by the children’s side”.
H.E. the President of the Hellenic Republic thanked Mrs. Vardinoyannis and congratulated her on her contribution to the fight against childhood cancer:
“Starting today my visit to the Pediatric Oncology Unit “Marianna V. Vardinoyannis-ELPIDA”, I knew that I would enter a battlefield,a battle for children and their parents, for doctors and nurses that tests human endurance hard,but also a victorious battle.
Every victory, here, against the invisible enemy is a shining ray of light. It reminds us that the war against cancer can be won,that almost all forms of childhood cancer can be overcome through early diagnosis and treatment,that there is hope. A hope that becomes a certainty in the faces of the cured children.
In this struggle, the “ELPIDA” Association is a pioneer. It takes care of the children, but also of their families. It implements innovative personalized therapies, organizes its model Guesthouse and supports guests with the assistance of social workers and psychologists.
I would like to congratulate from the bottom of my heart Mrs. Marianna V. Vardinoyannis and her associates for this gift of soul to the children and their parents. Their offer, their faith and their love, bring us one step closer to the miracle of healing every day “.
The Hospital CEO Mr. Manolis Papasavvas informed in detail the President of the Hellenic Republic about the mode of operation of the Oncology Unit and the significant support of the “ELPIDA”Association: “Having spent an amount of over 50.000.000 €, donated by the “ELPIDA” Association, our Hospital is now one of the leading Oncology Centers worldwide. Its state-of-the-art equipment with unique medical instruments in both the public and private sectors and the well-trained medical and nursing staff ensure the necessary conditions so that children can receive the same treatment as children in the medical centers abroad”.
The President of the Hellenic Republic was guided by Mrs. Vardinoyannis and Mr. Papasavvas to the premises of the Pediatric Oncology Unit “Marianna V. Vardinoyannis – ELPIDA” and specifically to the “Center for Cellular and Gene Therapy”, where the most innovativetreatments are being implemented in the battle against childhood cancer, as well as at the School of the Oncology Unit.
At the same time, Ms. Sakellaropoulou visited the offices of the Bone Marrow Volunteer Donors Registry “ORAMA ELPIDAS” where she signed a symbolic statement of support for raising awareness of Greek society about the voluntary bone marrow donation.
Particularly moving was the moment when the President of the Hellenic Republic and Mrs. Vardinoyannis talked to a mother of a young patient of the Pediatric Oncology Unit, who spoke to them about the big fight she gives by the side of her 13-year-old daughter, Argyro. The President of the Hellenic Republic and Mrs. Vardinoyannis wished her from the bottom of their hearts that Argyro emerges victorious from this battle.
The young students of the School of the Oncology Unit had prepared an emotional gift for the President of the Hellenic Republic, a handmade card with an almond branch and the message: “And if it is still winter, spring of hope will not be long in coming. Stay strong in your efforts! “