Ambassador’s Remarks at the Children’s Oncology Hospital “Elpida”, December 17, 2015

“Elpida” Oncology Hospital

December 17, 2015

Καλημέρα σε όλους σας και σας ευχαριστώ θερμά για την ευγενική σας πρόσκληση στην  Ογκολογική Μονάδα Παίδων «Μαριάννα Βαρδινογιάννη –Ελπίδα».   Είμαι ιδιαίτερα χαρούμενος που βρίσκομαι σήμερα εδώ ανάμεσά σας και σας ευχαριστώ πολύ που μου δίνεται η ευκαιρία να διαπιστώσω κι εγώ από κοντά το αξιοθαύμαστο έργο σας.

And, of course, I would like to thank all of the doctors, nurses, and staff here at Elpida for the excellent care they provide and their selfless devotion to children’s health.  Finally, I want to thank the kids – it’s wonderful to meet all of you and hear more about your courageous battles.  You are all truly an inspiration and I wish you all the most important gift for Christmas and the New Year – health.

It’s very appropriate that I am visiting during the holidays, as Christmas is considered the season of hope.  And that is what Elpida has provided for over 20 years now.  Marianna and the hundreds of people who have worked beside her over the years saw the desperate need of Greek children battling cancer, especially those children outside of the capital, for quality treatment.  There was no way for parents of ill children in the provinces to get care for their kids without facing large medical bills, as well as having to pay the high cost of staying here in Athens while their children were being cured.  Marianna and her colleagues worked tirelessly to open the Elpida guest house, which hosts families from outside of Athens while their youngest members are receiving treatment, and then to establish the first children’s oncology hospital in Greece, which opened just over five years ago.  I applaud all of your efforts to help your fellow Greek citizens, especially those who are going through one of the most difficult challenges their family will ever face.  Your hard work, dedication, and generosity truly embody all of the qualities represented by the Greek word philotimo.

I want to thank you again for inviting me here today to see your work personally and get a better understanding of all you do.  I wish Marianna and the staff here every success in their efforts.

Τελειώνοντας, θα ήθελα να ευχηθώ σε όλους σας Καλά Χριστούγεννα γεμάτα αγάπη και χαρά.  Επίσης θα ήθελα να ευχηθώ στα παιδιά «ταχεία ανάρρωση», Χρόνια Πολλά και να γυρίσουν σύντομα στα σπίτια τους.

Σας ευχαριστώ πολύ.