The fourth edition of the #afiancodelcoraggio Award promoted by Roche S.p.A., aimed at collecting stories written by male people who live next to a cancer patient, has closed. The winner will be selected by a prestigious technical jury in 2021
There are those who recount a sort of vigil alongside their mother, now ill, as when she was little. On the other hand, there are those who compare the journey of a life together with a polychrome palette with colors that wither. There are many experiences, all different, because each of us has his own way of being close to those who suffer. The figure of the caregiver, who "takes care" of the parent, the brother, the child and the friend, is one of the keystones for those who challenge the disease. Translating feelings, fears, sobs, joys into words therefore becomes a way to "spread" your feelings to others, through the story. The literary contest #afiancodelcoraggio is based on the intimate, personal narration of those who "take care" of the other, created to collect real life stories told by men (brothers, sons, husbands, fathers, etc.) who have lived next to a person with an oncological disease.
The importance of empathy in the time of Covid-19
The competition, which started four years ago, describing the needs and perceptions of those who are close to a woman with cancer, then focused on multiple sclerosis and haemophilia, to return this year to talk about oncological diseases, The choice is not random, given that the COVID-19 epidemic with the necessary distancing and the difficulties in accessing hospital services may have made the loneliness of those facing a tumor even more "heavy" and at the same time even more significant the support of a word, of a squeezing hand, of a torn smile that can offer, hour after hour, the caregiver. Thus, in addition to the raw data of the AIOM (Italian Association of Medical Oncology) experts who speak of a reduction in certain services, first of all cancer screening, paying attention to the emotional condition of the patient and those who care for him becomes essential. "Turn on the spotlight" through the story of this indissoluble combination of love and empathy, when the emotional situation of cancer patients and their caregivers are added together with the anxiety about the risk of a pandemic are facing a tumor and must emotionally manage both disease, and the collective feeling, is the goal of #afiancodelcoraggio. The initiative aims to give support and value to this courage, a daily undertaking for those seeking strength in a smile, in a painting, in a look. And it is designed to support women, but whose protagonists are men. “The #afiancodelcoraggio Award was born four years ago with a first edition dedicated to the stories of men, fathers, companions, husbands, friends, children, who have been alongside the courage of their women with cancer. Today we find ourselves turning the spotlight on oncology once again, in a scenario that, if possible, is even more dramatic. " comments Maurizio de Cicco, President and CEO of Roche “In recent weeks the President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, reminded us that some diseases do not go into lockdown, cancer first of all. With #afiancodelcoraggio we want to give voice to all those who accompany the pain, hope, concern or isolation of the sick who have made themselves felt even more strongly in recent months. We are talking about the large community of so-called caregivers, almost always family members, sometimes friends or acquaintances, who play a key role in the treatment of cancer patients and who remind us that the disease is not only of those who have it, but of all the community, providing an irreplaceable assistance network for those who, in recent months, in addition to the fear of illness add up to the fear of contagion, difficulty in moving around, lengthening waiting times for a visit, for therapy or even just for screening. "
From stories to the big screen
The pen to tell, the image to describe, the cinema to make sensations such as love, suffering, anxiety, fear, closeness, commitment become tangible reality. The story of a painful experience, the sharing of a "piece of life" spent next to a woman with an oncological disease, thanks to the commitment of #afiancodelcoraggio, is destined to become everyone's heritage, to promote a cultural change in approach to female cancers and raise awareness of these pathologies in society. Because the disease must not be a problem only for the woman who suffers from it, but also for the community, which can support and help her. Thus, the winning story of this edition, which will be selected by the technical jury in 2021, will come to life in a spot that will be screened in cinemas and on the channels made available by the initiative's partners. The technical jury is made up of the President Gianni Letta and nine representatives of associations, cinema, journalism and the institutional world: Marco Belardi, CEO of Lotus Production; Giordano Beretta, President of AIOM (Italian Association of Medical Oncology); Angela Coarelli, editor-in-chief of ANSA; Marco Costa, Director of Mediaset Thematic Networks; Elisabetta Iannelli, Secretary General of FAVO (Federation of Voluntary Associations in Oncology); Sabrina Nardi, AIL (Italian Association against leukemia-lymphomas); Giovanni Parapini, Rai; Carlo Rossella, President of Medusa Film; Enrico Vanzina.
With the contribution of Roche S.p.A.