2023 January – Focus on Wellness – Story 1

January is a time people often focus on wellness. Please enjoy this personal story.

Path to wellness and happiness with adaptive fencing by Caterina, Leonardo and Tommaso

Boy in wheelchair fences with his coach
Tommaso and his coach.

“Usually we are used to saying that sport is life. We can absolutely confirm that it could not be more true! We have experienced it with our son, Tommaso, a 6-year-old child with titinopathy using the wheelchair as he cannot walk. 

Since the very beginning, Leonardo and I had in mind the idea to support Tommaso and give him the possibility of playing an inclusive sport, beyond the physiotherapy.

So we were looking for an inclusive sport in which there are no differences and that may allow Tommaso to play with others, beyond the toys and games he plays at home.

Sports may create peacefulness and awareness that there is a “life to live” beyond the daily routine of hard work and commitment. I can also add strong and long-lasting relationships, passion and satisfaction.

A sport that allowed him to spend time that was not therapy or therapeutic and that allowed him, for a moment, not to think: “I have to do it because otherwise my muscles will throw a tantrum” but “I want to do it because I love and enjoy it”. Additionally, for us, as parents, it would be a breath of normal and simple life, taking care of our child also his happiness and not only for the several hospital (pivotal) appointments.

In October 2021, we had the chance to create a link with the “U.S. Pisascherma” Association https://www.uspisascherma.it/ and we found everything we were looking for. 

We saw Tommaso for the first time, tired (as we are used to see after the physiotherapy or a relay in the hospital) but with his heart full of happiness. It was the greatest feeling for us, as for the first time we were dealing with so much positive emotion that is impossible to describe with words. For that moment, we almost forgot about titinopathy with all that it entails. 

Tommaso began to attend the school of the “U.S. Pisascherma” Association where he was trained by professional trainers that never made him feel different. We saw so many improvements, not only at the psychological and emotional aspects, but also the respiratory ones. During the last check, done in December 2022, Tommaso in fact carried out spirometry from which it emerged that the restrictive respiratory pattern he had the previous year, at the moment, seems to have passed.

We tell this story hoping many children suffering with titinopathy can take it as an example and our wish is that more and more children can play sports.

Mum Caterina, Dad Leonardo and Tommaso”.