‘Oloi mazi boroume’ and the ‘ELPIDA Association of Friends of Children with Cancer’ joined forces, to support children with cancer, when ‘Oloi Mazi Boroume’ delivered to the Association 10 Vein Finders, bought with the proceeds from the sale of the ‘ALEXANDROS’ book written by Ms Matina Kyriakou, mother of young Alexandros who passed away defeated by cancer.
The delivery of the medical devices took place in the context of an emotional meeting on Wednesday, 22 September 2021, at the amphitheatre of the “Marianna V. Vardinoyannis-ELPIDA” Children’s Oncology Unit.
The President of the ELPIDA Association, Mrs Marianna V. Vardinoyannis and the joint Director of Children’s Hospitals AGIA SOPHIA and P.&A. KYRIAKOU, Mr Manolis Papasavvas welcomed the President of ‘OLOI MAZI BOROUME’, Mr Ioannis Spanolios, and Ms Matina Kyriakou, author of the “ALEXANDROS” book.
In the book titled ‘ALEXANDROS’, published by Ontime Publications, Ms Matina Kyriakou describes the moving story of her son, who fought hard against cancer and caused unbearable grief when he failed to win this battle. Through this book, she launched a campaign to support children with cancer and their families, wanting to give them strength and courage. Ms. Kyriakou made it her life’s goal to fight for children with cancer, and wished to donate the proceeds from the book to ‘Oloi Mazi Boroume’ for the purchase of vein finders, which will make the blood collection process less painful for the children.
Ms. Vardinoyannis was moved by the strength of Ms. Kyriakou, who, despite losing her child, continued to fight for children with cancer, and thanked her with tears in her eyes:
“When I tried to find the appropriate words to express our gratitude today, the only word I could think of was “we bow before you.” We bow before the splendour of Matina Kyriakou’s soul. The heroic mother who fought the toughest battle on the side of her beloved Alexandros. Who fought next to him and shared with him the good as well as the difficult times, but then experienced the most unbearable grief when Alexandros left her side. In her we see every mother who has lost her child. Nothing compares to this tragedy, and no power in the world can comfort and erase the pain and wounds of the soul. No power can drive away the nightmare. We all fall to pieces! But what gives us the courage to face the harsh reality is the power of the hope that the mothers themselves give us through their perseverance, faith and endurance. Matina Kyriakou is such a woman with an incredible fortitude.”
At the same time, Ms Vardinoyannis expressed her warm thanks to Mr Giannis Spanolios and to “Oloi Mazi Boroume”, saying:
“Thank you for your unwavering attention from the very outset of this endeavour to this day. Your support and interest are invaluable in our struggle for the children. “Oloi Mazi Boroume” has created a new wave of volunteers in our country that makes us proud. It is one of the most important organized efforts of humanitarian and social contribution in our country, and we are very touched that it also embraced the ELPIDA Association of Friends of Children with Cancer. Today, you are doing a great good for the children of ELPIDA!”
The Director of the Hospital, Mr Manolis Papasavvas, thanked them on his part:
“Your presence here today is a special occasion, demonstrating in practice your love and sensitivity for children suffering from childhood cancer. These great fighters were the reason that 30 years ago a battle was launched with the sole purpose of giving every such child the chance to get better, in a Oncology Hospital built for children, with highly trained staff and state-of-the-art medical equipment, which often cannot be found anywhere else in our country, ensuring outstanding hospitalisation conditions. I would like to take this opportunity to send a strong message that ALL TOGETHER WE CAN DO IT, we can defeat childhood cancer.”
On his part, the President of the “OLOI MAZI BOROUME”, Ioannis Spanolios, stated with emotion:
“What you have done is amazing and you deserve our warmest congratulations. “Oloi Mazi Boroume” is an initiative that is always there for the community, and one of the reasons of that we launched this effort was to support the children who need us. Therefore, this day is also very important to us, and we will be on your side in this important struggle.”
Immediately after that, Mr. Spanolios and Mrs. Vardinoyannis signed the delivery-receipt of the vein finders.
In a clearly emotional address, the mother of Alexandros and author of the book, Matina Kyriakou, said:
“I am very moved by everything you have done for me today. I really didn’t expect this. I wrote this book to empower mothers and families with children in the Oncology Hospital. Not many words can describe this difficult journey. It is very hard for parents who have their children in the Oncology Unit. Only those who have lived through it can understand it.”
A moment that was especially moving was when Ms Matina Kyriakou spontaneously gifted Mrs Vardinoyannis with the first badge that Alexandros himself had made during his stay at the Oncology Unit, to inspire the other children, which on it had written: “Remember, the sun will come out again”.
Mrs. Vardinoyannis, in turn, offered Mrs. Kyriakou and Mr. Spanolios the Honorary Plaque of the Association, as well as the statuette of ELPIDA, a mother holding a child in her arms.
Then, all together, they symbolically placed the star of “OLOI MAZI BOROUME” on the Wall of Stars.