The History of ELPIDA
The “ELPIDA Association of Friends of Children with cancer” was founded in 1990 by a group of motivated women, with Mrs. Marianna V. Vardinoyannis as its President, aiming to provide support, through any means possible, to children suffering from cancer and to the families of those children.
The “ELPIDA” Association’s first project was the creation of the first Bone Marrow Transplant Unit in Greece exclusively for children. The Unit operated, between 1992 and 2010, at “Agia Sofia” Children’s Hospital, after which it was transferred to the state-of-the-art facilities of the “Marianna V. Vardinoyannis – ELPIDA” Children’s Oncology Unit. It is housed on the 3rd floor and offers 18 beds, an outpatient clinic, and fully-equipped laboratories. In April 2018, the Unit successfully passed the inspection for JACIE accreditation (Joint Accreditation Committee-ISCT & EBMT), conferring upon it international recognition and prestige.
The Bone Marrow Transplant Unit represented the “ELPIDA” Association’s point of departure and the beginning of a relationship of trust and support with Greek society.
The ELPIDA Association’s main projects, in addition to the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, include the following:
- A five-storey Guest House
- Our country’s first Oncology Hospital for children.
- The establishment and operation of a Volunteer Bone Marrow Donor Bank
- Twinning and collaborations with the world’s largest oncology centres – A multi-faceted social service.
- Τherapeutic camp program that aims to bolster the confidence and self-esteem of children who have lived through the traumatic experience of a neoplastic disease.
The “ELPIDA” Association, from the time of its establishment, has struggled to improve childhood cancer statistics in our country and shall continue to do so by constantly setting and attaining new goals:
- The creation of a Centre of Excellence, in collaboration with the “VISION OF HOPE” Association, in order to promote research on childhood cancer.
- Collaboration with International Research Centres
- The creation of an Electronic Data Platform on childhood cancer.
- The expansion of the “ELPIDA” Twinning Program,” with the signature of Protocols of Cooperation between the “Marianna V. Vardinoyannis – ELPIDA” Children’s Oncology Unit and similar centres abroad.
- The creation of a permanent therapeutic camp for children who have survived cancer.