On 19 June 2017, in the conference hall of the Children’s Oncology Unit, the Palestinian Ambassador to Greece, Marwan Toubassi, on behalf of the President of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas, awarded the “Medal of Honour and Distinction” to the president of the Association of Friends of Children with Cancer “ELPIDA,” Marianna V. Vardinoyannis, in recognition of the great humanitarian work she carries out and her role in promoting the friendship between the two peoples.
In his brief remarks, Mr. Toubassi underscored that “today we are gathered here to honour a special woman who has dedicated her life to humanity, to peace, to people’s prosperity and the creation of a better world, through her many actions, not just on the national level, but also internationally. Mrs. Vardinoyannis, for your overall contribution, and in recognition of our great humanitarian work, allow me, on behalf of my President, Mahmoud Abbas, to award you the ‘Medal of Honour and Distinction’.”
Mr. Toubassi did not omit to thank Mrs. Vardinoyannis, who with all her heart wanted to provide hospital care to ill Palestinian children and to host them at the “ELPIDA” Hostel, and he thanked her in particular for offering a future full of hope and health to Nooreldin and Tanseen, two Palestinian children who, for seven months now, have been receiving care at the Children’s Oncology Unit, and who came smiling to today’s event.
Very moved at receiving the Medal, Mrs. Vardinoyannis stated: “I feel humbled and deeply grateful at your honouring our work for the good of the children and our fight against childhood cancer. This fight is the result of a great collective effort on the part of doctors, nurses and the “ELPIDA” team, and I accept this Medal on behalf of everyone here in this hospital that we built, this ‘fortress’ where our visions are made reality. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the honour you do me, for your very moving words, for your personal efforts to strengthen the bridge of solidarity and friendship between our societies, and for the fact that, from the very moment you arrived in our country, you have been a good friend and great ally, and we will never forget that.”
Those attending the ceremony for awarding the Medal of the State of Palestine to Mrs. Vardinoyannis included the Ambassador or Egypt, Mohamed Farid Monid, the Ambassador of Jordan, Fawwaz Qasim Al-Eitan, the Ambassador of Cuba, Zelmys Maria Dominguez Cortina, the Ambassador of Tunisia, Lassaad Mhirssi, Ambassador Toubassi’s wife, Mirna Toubassi, the Mayor of Ilion, Nikos Zenetos, the President of UNICEF, Sofia Tzitzikou, the Director of “Agia Sofia” Children’s Hospital, Manolis Papasavvas, the scientific director of the Bone Marrow Bank, Dr. Stelios Grafakos, the Director of the Bone-Marrow Transplant Unit, Kiki Kitra, the Director of the Special Therapies Centre, Antonis Katamis, the members of the BoDs of “ELPIDA” and “ORAMA ELPIDA,” Melina Daskalakis, Dora Dimopoulou, Ino Konstantopoulou, Aikaterini Metaxotou, Rita Moraitakis, Aphrodite Plakiotakis, Elena Samara-Konstantakatou, Christina Tsatsakis, Ketty Philippides, Vicki Filippou, and many others.