The unique power of maternal love that makes the impossible possible was celebrated in an emotional event for the Mother’s Day at the Children’s Oncology Unit “Marianna V. Vardinoyannis-ELPIDA” on Friday May 12th 2023 in the presence of Her Excellency, the President of the Republic, Katerina Sakellaropoulou.
On the initiative of the President of the Association “ELPIDA”, Mrs. Marianna V. Vardinoyannis, four women-symbols have shared the amazing stories of their life and all the mothers-heroes of ELPIDA have been honored on them:
Mrs. Oxana Gobritsevska originating from Ukraine who abandoned her country in the middle of the war, to save her child who suffers from cancer, came to our country, found a shelter in “ELPIDA’S” guest house and her daughter is subject to therapy at the Oncologic Unit of Children, Mrs. Eleanna Tsiknia, mother of little Iro who was sick from sarcoma from the age of 3 and she is now a healthy and strong girl who attends as a pupil the nursing school, Mrs. Anna Panagopoulou, a volunteer donor of the Association “ORAMA ELPIDAS” who although was not a mother, she was compatible with a little child which had to subject to transplantation and without any second thought she gave blood-forming cells to save its life and she now feels as its second mother and Christina Fytili a healed child of “ELPIDA” who overcoming with persistence and strength all obstacles she is now a painter with her own family and three wonderful children.
These four women have narrated their stories with tears on her eyes offering hope and strength to any mother who stands and fights next to her child.
Mrs. Vardinoyannis being emotionally affected said that “In this room, each mother has her own personal story and course and what is united us is the deepest feeling: The love without any limits for our children. A love which is the source of an endless strength with which we stand next to them in any hard situation and especially when applies to children who are fighting so hard for their lives. All of you possess a special place in my heart and you are in our eyes the most unique heroes. Thank you for being for all of us, the prototypes of strength and courage and you show with your example the way of hope”.
Mrs. Vardinoyannis has also expressed her thanks to the President of the Republic for her considerable support to the fight of children’s cancer, offered to her a symbolic gift and emphasized that “The appearance of the President of the Republic is a great honor for us as she has embraced all our country’s mothers with a great sensitivity and love. She stands next to us as a valuable supporter of our fight against the children’s cancer and as a mother of a wonderful daughter. I thank her from the depth of my heart for standing next to us and support our fight”.
The President of the Republic, Katerina Sakelaropoulou has spoken from the depth of her heart for the hard fight of “EPLIDA” mothers and congratulated each one of them separately for the strength of their soul. ‘Who might be able to think what a mother suffers when her child has to give such a fight? My belief is that each one of you must be honored today. I wish to you to be strong and be all of you winners. I am sure that you have wined because you are so strong in having to carry such a burden. Whatever I have lived today is so breathtaking and I am happy to be here. Have always good health, be strong and all children to be at their home soon”.
The President of the Republic and Mrs. Vardinoyannis have honored the four women with an ornamental statuette of ELPIDA and a Diploma with words of love for the mothers as a memory of this emotional day.
The common Administrator of the Hospitals of Children “H Aghia Sofia” and “P&A. Kyriakou” Mr. Manolis Papasavvas was also present in the event emphasizing how important Mrs. Vardinoyannis support is and he presented considerable records for the treatment of the children cancer in our country: “ ELPIDA honors today all mothers who are standing as watchful guardians next to their children giving with them the most hard and difficult fight. But they are not alone in this fight as they have as supporters all of us , ELPIDA and another mother who for 33 years now has dedicated her life to only one purpose doing everything for the defeat of the children’s cancer so that none child’s smile will die down, Mrs. Marianna Vardinoyannis. We have nearly achieved our target from the first day of operation of the unique to our country Oncologic Hospital. We have conducted 41.792 hospitalizations, 186.941 daily hospitalizations, a total of 1.424 transplantations and 3 to 4 children are healed through the advanced and innovative treatments we implement in our Hospital such as the cellular and genetic and the 4th child will be very soon healed.
The event has closed with music with the mothers and children of the Guest House to present a beautiful performance under the guidance of the Teacher of Music of the Children’s Oncology Unit, Mrs. Emi Halari and the educators of the school of “ELPIDA” Gust House.
The stories of the four women who have been honored with their own word that shocks us:
Oxana Gobritsevska: “When I learned that Veronica is sick I was in the war zone. My aunt was living in Greece and she informed about Mrs. Vardinogiannis intention to help families from Ukraine and so we came here. There is no day passing by that I am not thanking you, all the family of ELPIDA for the care, tenderness and for what you have done for us. We are now a family that you have accepted it from the war zone to save our child”.
Eleanna Tsiknia: “I want that all mothers who are here today to see my child who is now healthy after so many hard times that, I do not wish any mother to pass and take strength from it. They must not lose their hope. My daughter Iro is my hero. I admire her for being so strong. And I want to warmly thank all people of ELPIDA because I have in this place understood what the word “Mummy” (Manoula) means. When in the Maternity home bring your child they call you with a surname and usually is that of the father. All people in the Children’s Oncology Unit call you with the word “Mummy” (Manoula). “Are you all right Manoula” “Do you want anything Manoula”. It is in this place that, I have realized what this word means.
Anna Panagopoulou: When I was a student some time ago I became a volunteer donor and this fact remained in the back of my mind. A few months ago I was informed that, I am compatible with a little child that must be subject to transplantation in the USA. I could not believe that. Some time ago I had lost a beloved person from hematologic disease and what is has been etched in my mind was the child’s mother who could not do anything to save her child and then I promised to myself that, if I had the opportunity I will do whatever is possible so that I will not see another mother in such a situation. And that’s what I did. Although I don’t know this child I feel it as it is mine because a part of me it is inside its body and offered to it life”.
Christina Fytili: “My own story started on 1995, I have relapsed on 2000 but I was a winner at the end. The people of ELPIDA are my second family for me. The first year that I was in the Hospital and the Gust House of ELPIDA did not exist my father was staying in the car. When the Guest House was built it became our second house….. I have continuously in my mind my mother who taught me that, you can play with your child although you are crying inside you, as she has done with me when I was sick. I feel now blessed that I am holding my three children and an enormous gratitude for ELPIDA for what it has offered to me”.