Elpida’s vision is ‘becoming a reality’

Celebrations took place this week to mark the culmination of 17 years’ work by the Elpida Foundation, its president Marianna Vardinoyianni, board of directors and members to found a cancer hospital for children. Their efforts over that time have included the founding of a bone marrow transplant unit and a hostel for recovering children and their parents. This week, standing before a model of the first Children’s Oncology Hospital in Greece, Vardinoyianni spoke of that long struggle, the obstacles overcome with the help of the state and medical science as well as the encouragement of the public that responded generously to a Telemarathon. «Our organization’s great vision, a project that we have been working for over the past few years, is becoming a reality with the founding of the first Children’s Oncology Hospital in Greece,» she said this week at the laying of the foundation stone at the site where the hospital is to be built. The stone was laid by President Karolos Papoulias, and the event attended by honorary New Democracy party leader Constantine Mitsotakis, the wife of Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, Natasa, Tourism Development Minister Fanni Palli-Petralia, Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas, Health Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos and Macedonia-Thrace Minister Giorgos Kalatzis, among other government and opposition officials, and the heads of the Onassis Foundation, which has donated 1.5 million euros for the hospital fund. Vardinoyianni thanked the state for donating the site and all the sponsors, most of whom were present at the ceremony. In a message to sick children and their parents she said: «I want them to know they are not alone in their struggle. All of us here and millions others are ready to rise to this challenge, so that the first Children’s Oncology Hospital will be finished as soon as possible.»

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