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The players of Panathinaikos BC at the side of the children of the "Marianna V. Vardinoyannis-ELPIDA" Children's Oncology Unit

Again this year, the Panathinaikos basketball team visited the Marianna V. Vardinoyannis -ELPIDA Children's Oncology Unit to give gifts, love and joy to the children being treated there.  

The players Ramel Curry, Ping Shang, Michael Bramos, Vladimir Jankovic, Stefan Lasme, Yorgos Diamantakos, James Gist, Loukas Mavrokefalidis, Mike Batiste, Dimitris Diamantidis, Yorgos Apostolidis, Nikos Pappas and Antonis Fotsis had their picture taken with the children,gave them Panathinaikos shirts and autographs, wrote their wishes on paper Christmas ornaments and hung them on the Christmas Wish Tree that stands at the entrance of the Hospital.

The players were accompanied by head coach Argyris Pedoulakis, assistant coaches Diamantis Panagiotopoulos and Sotiris Manolopoulos, equipment steward Paraskevas Drimanis, as well as the team's head of Marketing Elias Katsogiannis, the head of Public Relations Mrs. Nina Argyropoulou, and Sofia Yaleli from the Press Office and Constantina Mahimari from the Marketing Department.

The Chairwoman of the ELPIDA Association of Friends of Children with Cancer Mrs. Marianna V. Vardinoyannis welcomed them all warmly, thanked them from the bottom of her heart for not forgetting the children these holy days, despite their busy schedule, and congratulated them on their social sensitivity.

Argyris Pedoulakis, the team's head coach, thanked Mrs. Vardinoyannis for her kind words and said: "These children are an example to us all because they are fighters. We also fight for our profession, but the struggles waged by these children are more important. These children have been a source of inspiration for us during our games. This is a chance for young athletes to learn from the experiences of these children. We have come here to give gifts, but also to receive; to see up close the true battle for life and what real problems look like. We would like to thank the staff for their superhuman effort to make the children feel good. This is a beautiful endeavor and we have come here to support it."

Michael Bramos added: "It makes you appreciate the spirit of Christmas. It is very important to be able to put a smile on these kids' faces, especially this time of year. We know how tough it is for these kids and what kind of problems they have. We'd like to give them our best wishes."

Finally, Mike Batiste said: "I'm here again this year. It's very important to give joy to these children who are examples to us all. I wish everyone happy holidays!"

The enthusiasm with which the children welcomed the players was the best reward for everyone and, when the time came to tell them goodbye, Mrs. Vardinioyannis wished them a "Happy New Year!" and gave each one of them an ELPIDA memento. In return, they gave her a ball with all their signatures as a souvenir of their visit.