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Olympic champions visit to the "Marianna V. Vardinoyannis-ELPIDA" Children's Oncology Unit

The joy of the children who are undergoing treatment at the "Marianna V. Vardinoyannis-ELPIDA" Children's Oncology Unit was great when on Tuesday 20 December 2011, at noon, they were visited by Olympic champions Pyrros Dimas, Demosthenes Tambakos, Giorgos Sigalas, Irene Aindili and Vassilis Polymeros, World Champion Vassilis Kollaros and champions Nassos Galakteros and Erica Prezerakou, accompanied by the President of the National Olympic Academy of Greece, Mr. Isidoros Kouvelos and the Director of the National Olympic Academy of Greece Mrs. Ileana Klokoni.

In her welcoming speech, the President of the ELPIDA Association of Friends of Children with Cancer, Mrs. Marianna V. Vardinoyannis, remarked:   "Your visit today to the Children's Oncology Unit gives us particular pleasure as members of "ELPIDA" and especially to the children and their parents who are here.

It is indeed very moving that within the framework of your educational program and the propagation of the Athletic and Olympic Idea to all the schools of Greece you have not forgotten the children who could not be in their own school this year because they had to fight a hard battle to win the gift of life.

I congratulate you on the social sensitivity that distinguishes you, I thank you for the strength and courage you are giving all of us to continue our efforts and I wish you a "Merry Christmas" and "Happy New Year", full of health, personal and family happiness and many successes on the global athletic field."

The President of the National Olympic Academy of Greece, Mr. Issidoros Kouvelos, thanked her for her kind words, congratulated her for achieving such a great work as the creation of the Children's Oncology Unit and, to honor her, awarded her the medal of the National Olympic Academy of Greece, while Pyrros Dimas gave her the Academy's good-luck charm.

Mrs. Vardinoyannis thanked them warmly and offered Mr. Kouvelos, the Olympians and the champions commemorative gifts from the "ELPIDA" Association.

The visitors were then photographed with the children and hung their wishes on the Wishing Tree, the Christmas tree that adorns the reception area of the Children's Oncology Unit.   Little cards with the wishes of children and grownups hang on its branches instead of decorations.