The Minister of Health Mr. Dimitris Avramopoulos, Mrs. Marianna V. Vardinoyannis, H.E. the President of the Hellenic Republic Mr. Karolos Papoulias and the Archbishop of Athens and All GreeceChristodoulos.

The vision of the Association of Friends of Children with cancer “ELPIDA”, to build an oncology hospital that will give hope and smile to children who suffer from cancer as well as to their parents, finally becomes a reality. The “Foundation for the Child and Family” is both a supporter as well as an ally in this effort.

The construction of the Oncology Hospital for children in Athens, the first in Greece, which is expected to be ready by 2010, will balance out the current insufficient care of the continuously increasing number of children that suffer from cancer, not only in Greece, but also in the Balkans.

In a touching ceremony which took place in April 2007, the President of the Hellenic Republic, Mr Karolos Papoulias, placed the foundation stone of the Hospital, while the late Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All Greece, consecrated the land where the building is to be erected.

Mrs. Marianna V. Vardinoyannis, as President of “ELPIDA” Association, addressed to the guests saying: ” Love is the foundation of this Hospital. Each one of its stones is a piece of heart. Each one of its places is a source of hope and life, in a great alliance between science and humanism. The great vision of our Association, the work for which we fought the last years, becomes real today! We are indeed deeply moved by the success of this collective fight; a fight that originated from “ELPIDA” and became a fight of the entire Greek population. In this historic moment for our association, our deepest feelings are expressed, particularly the hope for hundreds of children who suffer from cancer and can now have a model hospital especially for them in their own country”.

Ministers, former Ministers, personalities from letters and arts, businessmen, artists, great benefactors and donors, members and friends of the Association, representatives of media were present in this historical moment for the “ELPIDA” Association.

As the current available space for the needs of the continuously increasing number of children suffering from cancer is limited, the under construction Oncological Paediatrics Hospital is expected to considerably contribute to balancing out the extreme number of patients of the Paediatrics Hospital “Agia Sophia”.

The current Oncological departments of the two Paediatric Hospitals -“Agia Sophia” and “Aglaia Kyriakou”- will be transferred to the new Hospital. The objective is that the new Hospital will be a distinguished Centre for the effective treatment of children’s cancer providing high standards of nursing services for children with neoplasmatic diseases and haematological malignancies.

Moreover, the new Hospital will shorten the waiting time for the admission of ill children to the Bone Marrow Transplant Units, since today this waiting time is often long due to the limited number of beds.

The opportunity for further development of research programmes as well as the application of cell and gene treatment for the confrontation of genetic and neoplasmatic diseases will also be given.

The construction of the Hospital is based on the most modern scientific studies in order to account for the needs for integrated diagnosis, hospitalisation and treatment of children in an appropriate environment which would, moreover, be friendly for them.

The Hospital will be consisted of five main buildings along with auxiliary buildings, a joining corridor, central entry, etc. Its total area will be 14.880 sq.m.

The following Departments to operate in the new Hospital are:

A nursing Unit of Bone Marrow Transplant of capacity of 18 beds

Three Haematology–Oncology Nursing Units of capacity of 29 beds each

Three One Day Clinic (ODC) Units for the Haematology–Oncology Departments of capacity of 8 beds each

A One Day Clinic Unit for the Department of Bone Marrow Transplant of capacity of 4 beds

A Nursing Unit of Radioactive treatment of capacity of 1 bed

In vitro Laboratories

Pain Clinic

Outpatient Clinics

Blood donation Centre

Positron Emission Technology (P.E.T.) Diagnostic Department

Nuclear Medicine Department (with γ camera)

Meeting Room: capacity about 50 roughly individuals

A School for educating the hospitalised children

A guest house for the parents.

The surrounding area of the buildings will be further planted, preserving the existing plants.

In this grass area, two playgrounds are to be constructed for the recreation of the young patients.

The access to all the buildings will be ensured via pedestrian paths. Driveways leading to a new parking area will also be constructed in the new building site as well as access driveways to the Central Entrance of the Oncology Unit as well as for the safe delivery of supplies to the Department of Radioisotope Preparation. A peripheral road that will surround the buildings will finally be constructed for safety reasons (maintenance, fire safety etc.) and smooth traffic within the plot.