The Association of Friends of Children with cancer “ELPIDA” stands with care and dedication at the side of sick children and their families and announced the next important project that will be implemented inside the Children’s Oncology Hospital.

At a Press conference given on 28 August 2012, the President of ELPIDA, Mrs. Marianna V. Vardinoyannis, spoke about the new vision of the Association, the establishment of a Bone Marrow Donor Bank in Greece.

“Despite the adverse economic conditions affecting our country, Mrs. Vardinoyannis said in her speech, and the uncertainty of the future, the initiative of ELPIDA to take yet another great step forward with the establishment of the Bone Marrow Donor Bank, that will require significant funds for its operation and a large-scale involvement of volunteers, comes as a strong reaction against all that is happening around us, the difficulties experienced by our fellow citizens, the elimination of values and visions and the shrinking of “welfare” and social services, that all fill our society with insecurity and concern.

“Mainly, however, we need to support to the best extent possible the families fighting for the lives of their children, knowing full well that amid the economic crisis, these parents have to fight, not only against the disease, but also against the problems of daily life and the shortcomings that exist in the field of healthcare.

“Until now, parents looking for a compatible bone marrow transplant for their child suffering from cancer that required a transplantation, could only appeal to bone marrow banks abroad. After overcoming the initial difficulty of finding a compatible transplant, they needed to secure the amount of 15.000 euros in order to obtain the transplant if it was found at a bank in Europe, or 30,000 euros if it was found at a bank in America. However, this amount was a huge financial burden for the families.

“Recently, the State committed itself to having hospitals cover this cost, when 14 families were on a waiting list due to this financial matter, which was robbing them of valuable time from the treatment and life of the children. However, due to the lack of funding affecting the healthcare sector, such a solution is not sustainable.

“The establishment of the Bone Marrow Donor Bank in Greece will help hundreds of families. And the more volunteer donors there are, the bigger the chances will be that a compatible transplant will be found at the Greek Bank. At the same time, the bank’’s services will also cater for cases from abroad, since it will be part of the global database system connecting all related banks with one another”.

Numerous organisations have already declared their support and solidarity towards the realization of this new vision by “ELPIDA” Association.

The Bank will operate at the Children’’s Oncology Unit ““Marianna V. Vardinoyannis-ELPIDA”” and its operation is expected to begin in 2013.