Can Vicky’s diagnosis turn into something positive?

This week we are proudly sharing that the friendly football match “Insieme per Vicky” between Nazionale Italiana Artisti TV vs Lions Club in Montegalda (Vicenza) on Sept 30th 2017 raised an amazing total of ~20k Euro. The money has already been donated to support research against Vicky’s condition. We will share more about a new research route we are working on very soon.

Vicky is our 4 year daughter losing her sight due to a congenital eye disease called Leber Congenital Amaurosis. As we celebrate the success, I would like to go back to how this all started and what this event really meant for us.

 

When my friend Angela proposed me to organize a fundraising football match to raise funds for Vicky, I was a bit sceptical. Vicky’s diagnosis was relatively fresh in our minds. We had only just started our Through Vicky’s Eyes campaign. We had never organized a fundraising event before. Will it be a success? The town is little and sponsors are difficult to find. Will it be worth the effort? Will I be able to speak about Vicky in front of hundreds people. It will be the first time we are actually revealing about Vicky in front of a big crowd. Many doubts and even more fears filled our minds.

 

Although we knew each other  “virtually” since few years, Angela and I had never met. Actually, now that I think about it, we had never even chatted on the phone…. Our silver lining was the fact that our kids were supposed to be born on exactly the same day (at the end little Alberto “surpassed” Vicky on the finish line for just a couple of days;-) Angela, as many others, heard about our fundraising and she wanted to help….what she (and all the other people that joined in) did not realize is how much in fact this event ended up meaning for us….

Thanks for the support of amazing and passionate people the event took place and was a big success: getting to know her friend Alberto, kicking off the football match, meeting the VAGAMIMBO (Gabibbo 😉 were just a few of the highlights for Vicky.  But the event was much more than the indispensable money we have raised to support research against Vicky’s condition….it has been one of the cornerstone in our Through Vicky’s eyes journey….It has been the moment in which we realized two very important things.

 

First of all, It has been the first tangible realization that we were not alone in the fight. Seeing the entire town coming together to support Vicky was amazing: Volunteers, Local Companies, Friends and Family. This was beyond belief. People travelled far to be with us. People dedicated time and effort to us. We have been so touched. We know that many wonderful people we met there for the first time will continue to  accompany us in our journey. We feel so privileged and blessed.

Second of all, it made us realize what few months ago would have been impossible even to conceive. The fact that we could turn Vicky’s condition into an opportunity to do something positive.   Considering where we were few months before: the very dark moments of the diagnosis, the feeling of discouragement, helplessness and anger. And here we were, few months later, more or less on our feet and actually in the position to help others in our journey.

During the event we had the opportunity to offer a free eye check to about ~ 50 preschoolers. 8 kids were diagnosed with some issues and 2 of them with fairly significant issues (luckily no one to the extent of Vicky’s). Many parents came back to us thanking us for having helped them realize their kids had sight issues that needed to be resolved. One message sticks in my mind:

 

“Thank you for the invite to the football match. The doctors have diagnosed N. with a significant issue. He has severe myopia in his left eye and we had no clue about it. He has already started wearing a patch on the right eye to strengthen then left one. If we had not discovered this issue now, it would have probably been too late to intervene. Thanks a lot.”

I could have not even imagined that we could already help other kids see better. This has been, to say the least, incredible. This could have not happened without everybody that joined that day.

I do not know what is going to happen to Vicky’s sight in the future and whether we will find a cure in time to arrest the progression. But knowing that we can already have a positive impact is actually the most thing we are mostly proud of beyond the money we have raised.

 

So thanks to everybody who helped and participated to the event. You have helped advanced indispensable research but you have also helped with the realization that this battle is worth fighting. And we will fight it TOGETHER.

 

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