Joan Marston receives the 2016 Vittorio Ventafridda Award in Rome

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At the opening ceremony of the Maruzza Foundation Global’s 3rd Paediatric Palliative Care Conference: A Global Gathering, presently being held at the Auditorium Antonianum in Rome, Joan Marston, ICPCN’s previous Chief Executive was awarded the prestigious Vittorio Ventafridda Award for her dedication to children’s palliative care and her tireless work to develop children’s palliative care globally.

Presented to Joan by Gaia and Lavinia Recordati, the twin daughters of Sylvia Lefebvre D’Ovidio, President of the Fondazione Maruzza Lefebvre D’Ovidio Onlus, who told delegates attending the conference about Joan’s many achievements over her career as a nurse, founder of a children’s hospice in South Africa, passionate advocate for children’s pallaitive care, founding member of the ICPCN and its first chair and first Chief Executive. 

Graciously accepting the award, in her short acceptance speech, Joan said she was speechless, despite seldom being ‘lost for words’! She went on to thank both Sylvia and the Maruzza Foundation for this recognition, saying, “I’d like to thank you so much for this award. I accept this is on behalf of all of you. You are my heroes and the heroines, and the children that we care for – because they’re the reason that we do this. Thank you so much for this recognition.”

About the award
Vittorio Ventafridda was the pioneer of palliative care in Europe. Each year this accolade, created in his honour, aims to recognise outstanding initiatives and enterprises that have made a difference to the quality of life of patients and their families. It aims to celebrate the achievements in all the areas of palliative care in the social and medical contexts; in scientific and humanistic research, in education and voluntary programmes and, above all, in the expression of moral values.

You can follow the 3rd PPC Conference now taking place in Rome via Live Streaming on the Maruzza Foundation Global Facebook page

This article originally appeared on the International Children’s edition of ehospice

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