Ukrainian children fighting cancer airlifted to treatment center in Greece through initiative of Ripple of Hope Laureate Vardinoyannis

At least 40 Ukrainian children being treated for cancer will be airlifted to Athens to the pediatric oncology unit bearing the name of UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, Ripple of Hope Laureate and chair of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Greece Marianna V. Vardinoyannis.

The Ukrainian patients will be accompanied by their parents and family members, all of whom will be hosted in the Hostel of the Association of Friends of Children with Cancer – Elpida (Greek for Hope), also funded by Vardinoyannis.

“ELPIDA Association of Friends of Children with Cancer” is a Greek NGO founded by Vardinoyannis in 1990. The first goal of ELPIDA was the creation of the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit at the St Sophia Children Hospital in Athens.

A first wave of 12 to 15 children are expected to arrive in the coming days, followed by others in the weeks to come.

Vardinoyannis and Health Minister of Greece Thanos Plevris met in recent days when he visited the oncology unit, pledging to give the country’s support in helping “the long-suffering people of Ukraine and the children we are expecting.”

“The little heroes of life will come to our country with special flights which will take place under the care of Mrs. Vardinoyannis,” Plevris said.

For more about Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Greece’s work, visit