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With 1 Euro you can save lives!

The President of the "ELPIDA" Association of Friends of Children with cancer, Mrs. Marianna V. Vardinoyannis on Thursday 14 April 2011 announced to the press the Association's new campaign aimed at ensuring the smooth operation of the "MARIANNA V. VARDINOYANNIS-ELPIDA" Children's Oncology Unit and the creation of new services necessary for the treatment of sick children.

"Thank you very much for your presence which has always been a pillar of support for the activities of 'ELPIDA'," said Mrs. Vardinoyannis in her opening remarks,   "activities that led to the creation of the First Children's Oncology Unit in which 863 children are already undergoing treatment, 17 bone marrow transplants have already been performed and over 4,016 outpatients have received treatment.   Considering that the hospital only opened its doors 4 months ago these numbers constitute an extraordinary reality that not only proves the country's great need for such a hospital but also the great responsibilities 'ELPIDA' has undertaken in supporting the hospital and its operation.   For us, nothing counts more than the health of the children.   And all those who believed that the work of "ELPIDA" ended with the construction of the hospital were wrong.   The hospital is a new point of departure for 'ELPIDA' because the struggle never stops nor do the needs of the hospital, which will always be in line with new developments in the field of children's cancer internationally, and we shall be in the vanguard.   Not a single child must be lost…"

The goals of the new campaign are:

· The creation of a Volunteer Bone Marrow Donor Bank that will operate in the hospital and provide transplants to those children who need to undergo bone marrow transplants.

· The creation of a service providing stem cells from the placenta, in collaboration with the "Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens" (Founder and President of the Board of Directors: Professor Gregorios Skalkeas) which will donate the stem cells needed by the children from the Bank it maintains.

· The creation of a "home care" service.   Through this program Unit nurses will provide children with nursing care at home, including drawing blood to monitor the course of the disease and all other essential medical treatment while should the need arise the children and their parents will receive valuable support by psychologists and social workers at home.

· The creation of   a "Psychosocial Service" in the hospital in collaboration with the associations of parents of children with cancer which have for years been helping and supporting this work in the "Aghia Sophia" and "Aglaia Kyriakou" hospitals.

·Providing information and raising public awareness in order to generate support for the work of the Children's Oncology Unit.

"The first vehicle in this campaign," said Mrs. Vardinoyannis in her speech, "is the little book you are holding which we intend to distribute to as many people as possible both by hand and through publications and the electronic information media.   We begin this Sunday with the distribution of the publication through the Real News paper and will continue with the other media as well.   As you can see, with this publication we are addressing each individual and asking them, in the measure that they can afford, to support the work of the Children's Oncology Unit.   Because no sensitive society – and Greek society has demonstrated its sensitivities in practice – can allow sick children to be among the victims of any financial coincidence.   No matter how serious it may be for all the adults.   'ELPIDA' will not allow it!   And we are certain that we have the entire Greek nation at our side".

Anyone wishing to make a "Donation of Hope (Elpida) may simply:

· Call 9011405240 from a land line.

· Deposit a small or large amount at the Piraeus Bank, Account Number 5014005420180.

The "Partner in Life" program has been created specifically for companies wishing to support the work of the Oncology Unit.   Each company that becomes an ally in the battle waged by 'ELPIDA', in addition to its own contribution, will also function as a bridge between 'ELPIDA' and its employees.   Because only ALL TOGETHER can we make a difference!

After Mrs. Vardinoyannis it was the turn of the Administrative Director of the "Aghia Sophia" Children's Hospital Dr. Emmanouil Papasavvas to speak.   In referring to the 4 months during which the Children's Oncology Unit has been in operation, he said:

"… 4 months ago Mrs. Vardinoyannis and the members of the 'ELPIDA' Association set high standards for oncology disease treatment and we as the "Aghia Sophia" Children's Hospital were called upon to meet the high and strict demands of this extraordinary work.

I do not wish to tire you with numbers and for this reason I am merely setting forth the data that comprises the operation of the Oncology Unit:

· It has a staff of 142 certified doctors, nurses and trained administrative personnel.

· Within the next month the Hospital's Blood Donor Center will operate in the state-of-the-art facilities of the Oncology Unit, covering a broad range of the needs of children with malignant and neoplastic diseases.

·  By the end of the year the diagnostic Positron Emission Tomography (PET/CT), Department of Nuclear Medicine will be in operation with g-camera, the only one of its kind in Greece for children with the latest technology and medical technology equipment and an Iodine 131 Radiation Therapy Unit.

· Elementary and secondary school teachers as well as nursery and preschool teachers hold regular classes for the children so as not to disrupt the normal routine of their lives, to maintain their contact with school and to create the prerequisites so that their thoughts are not bound and their activities are not confined to the narrow limits of the disease.   The Oncology Unit has two classrooms and one creative activities room with the latest state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment and high-tech blackboards.

Finally, I would like to emphasize the financial support provided by the 'ELPIDA' Association to the Hospital's operational requirements.   Mrs. Marianna Vardinoyannis, our tireless and vigilant protector and advisor, is always there whatever the day or the hour, contributing to our work.   She is the boundless source of our energy, the person who handles the problems with understanding and love."