Realize the wishes of sick children, at the start of the solidarity campaign

There is Giacomo, 6 years old and a medulloblastoma, who has gone into ‘space’. And then there is Saverio, 15 years old and with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, who traveled to Barcelona to meet his idol, Lionel Messi. Instead Vittorio, 10 years old and a histiocytosis, has made his journey over time by becoming for one day ‘sheriff of the Far West’. They are just some of the nearly 2,400 young patients who in the last 17 years have seen a dream come true thanks to Make-A-Wish Italia, the non-profit organization that makes the wishes of children with serious illnesses come true. Thanks to the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, in the last year the list of children with a dream in the drawer has grown and at the moment there are about 250 wishes waiting. To make them all, Make-A-Wish Italia launches the “Felici e più forte” campaign. The solidarity initiative is active until November 14th. To donate, just a text message or a landline call to 45584.

Before the stop caused by the pandemic, Make-A-Wish Italia made an average of 250 wishes a year. Seemingly simple dreams, like a gift from a puppy or a camera. Special meetings with famous people, from Ariana Grande to George Clooney, from Federica Pellegrini to Francesco Totti up to the astronaut Paolo Nespoli. The chance to play someone else’s shoes for a day: a super hero, a dancer, a princess. And above all, travel: New York, London, Disneyland, a beach holiday.

Nothing like the possibility of escaping the loneliness of a hospital room, in fact, can make children and families happy who share the tragedy of illness with them.

The clinical benefits are documented by numerous scientific studies. The most recent, conducted by the University of Aston for Make-A-Wish UK, confirms the positive effects on the psycho-physical well-being of patients and their families. “Modern medical-scientific research shows that positive emotions directly translate into health benefits for the patient. A simple laugh, for example, reduces blood pressure and stress, improves the immune system and relieves pain,” he explains. Keith Goh, one of the most successful pediatric neurosurgeons in the world and chair of the scientific committee of Make-A-Wish International.

“Treating a child does not only mean healing his illness but it means taking care of him at 360 degrees and this also includes fulfilling his wishes. Fulfilling a wish is a complementary therapy that produces a state of well-being and helps to better cope with the disease”, adds Milena La Spina pediatrician at the Vittorio Emanuele hospital in Catania.

The merit of having brought the mission of Make-A-Wish International to Italy, born in the United States 40 years ago, is due to Fabio and Sune Frontani, who in 2004 in Genoa decided to found the organization in memory of their eldest daughter Carlotta , who passed away at the age of only 10 due to a serious illness: “We deeply believe in the power of a wish that is granted. It is an incredibly positive experience that makes young patients and their families stronger in the battle against the disease. . For this reason, every day, together with hundreds of volunteers scattered throughout Italy, we are committed to making children’s dreams come true “.

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