Asbarez - The Armenian Medical Society and its community of supporters gathered at the Sheraton Universal Hotel on April 6 to celebrate the work of the organization and honor the achievements of two extraordinary individuals–Anna Hakobyan, the spouse of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and musician and activist Serj Tankian.
Hakobyan, who is a noted journalist as well as the board chair for City of Smile was the keynote speaker of the evening and spoke about the importance of having the capabilities to provide comprehensive, state-of-the-art cancer treatment for children afflicted with cancer in Armenia, and to receive this care regardless of the family’s ability to pay.
Hakobyan noted that in less-developed countries, such as Armenia, cancer is often equal to a death sentence, but with proper treatment and resources, it can be overcome.
“We are gathered here today to support these children,” said Hakobyan.
“Together we can fight for every child with cancer and it is our obligation to not let them lose the fight due to lack of resources. City of Smile Foundation was established to change their lives, to move them in a positive direction, and to bring a smile to the face of these children and their families. We are starting it by saving one smile at a time. Tonight, there are hundreds of people present which means so many people are standing by the sides of these children and their parents and giving a piece of hope and a hand of support,” added Hakobyan.
Armenian American Medical Society President, Armond Kotikian, DDS, MD, FACS, was thrilled with this year’s response to the need. “Our partnership with City of Smile created an opportunity for our organization to make a real and meaningful impact the lives of children suffering from oncological and hematological diseases in the heart of Armenia,” he said. “Seeing how so many people opened their hearts to the foundation and generously gave so that these children can receive the care they so desperately need was truly remarkable.”
Serj Tankian, singer, poet, songwriter, visual artist, activist, composer and the voice of System of a Down, was honored with the AAMS lifetime achievement award. Humble in his acceptance, Serj noted the importance of working together to provide the basics for students, patients, veterans, and the most disenfranchised in the homeland. “We need to find more ways to help organizations, such as City of Smile, reach their objectives in our new, free, independent, and hopeful Armenia,” remarked Serj.