Ciao, my name is Manuel, recent university graduate, and I will be running my first marathon on November 6th 2016 in New York City. I am really excited and I can’t wait to start, especially because I AM RUNNING FOR MY FRIEND, LUCA PULINO, who has been fighting against ALS for 14 years. I promised him that I’ll run and finish the marathon for him, and even if it will be exhausting and challenging, I will have him as an example and never give up. Besides running, I am also fund rising for his organization “Amici di Luca” (Luca’s Friends).
Luca, through his organization, used to send a free magazine to 300+ people like him affected by ALS (see example: http://www.leportedellasperanza.it/giornalino.php). Unfortunately, he had to stop sending it due to limited resources. Given Luca’s 14 years of experience with ALS, in his magazine you can find practical suggestions, the latest news on research and other stories about ALS. His main goal is to inform families and friends, and make sure that ALS patients do not feel alone: “There are others going through your same pain, fighting like yourself against the disease, DO NOT GIVE UP!”
As a result of the degenerating Italian economic situation, Luca has barely enough resources to take care of himself, so your funds will support his new magazine editions (in Italy and abroad) and other noble initiatives “Amici di Luca” do to support the ALS community. Luca is my example of tenacity and love for life; please join me in spreading his message around the world. By donating, you will not only run hand to hand with me against ALS, you will fight with Luca and his friends to defeat this monster that knows no cure.
Please take few minutes to read the letter Luca wrote for you.
Here I am, It is not so obvious to still be on earth when you are sick with a serious illness. I am trying my best ... Because I love life! Because I'm not ready to stop seeing my family! Because I'm not ready to stop seeing my friends! Because I'm not ready to stop seeing Capranica and all of you! I am trying my best ... Because I want to give my self hope! It's a little “Mission Impossible”, but, in my opinion, it is worth trying. Just so you know, it has been 14 years that I am fighting against ALS. Too many years to just pass by and not leave a mark! I regularly review all the key stages of my long misadventure in my head. It all began with a problem in speaking and an incomprehensible weakness of the arms. After six months of analysis and various examinations, there came the diagnosis: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or simply ALS. In simple terms, the nerve cells, which are predisposed to send impulses to the muscles to move, die. I guess I do not have to explain to anyone the consequences of this fact. I would not wish anyone to see his own body "go away" without being able to do anything. Slowly but surely, I saw my spaces shrinking. Gradually, my movements were reduced almost to 0, and if you want to keep on living you must rely completely on others. And I can assure you that it is not an easy thing to digest and accept. Even for those who, like me, were informed of the effects that the disease might be bringing. Even for those who, like me, have chosen to live. Today, I can barely move my feet and eyes. If I am still alive, I have to thank science and advanced medicine. I am attached to devices that allow me to breathe and feed myself. Thanks to technology, I am able to communicate through a computer that relies on my eye movement to “activate” letters. In times of great physical suffering, I almost hoped death would take me away, but I have no doubt about what I really want. On February 23rd 2002, I was diagnosed with ALS ... It has been 14 years and everything has changed ever since. My previous life is just a pile of rubble, and I’ve struggled to admit it to my self. It is probably because it has been too many years and I almost got used to it, but there is one thing that I am sure of, I no longer think of being sick. I try to live my new life to the fullest. Like when I was healthy. I am trying my best… Because I do not want to give up on life. Because I do not want ALS to ruin my life more than what it has already done. I am trying my best ... Because I hope to get my life back. However, without “you” I am nothing! And when I say "you", I mean not only those who look after me, but also all those who have a thought for me. There are things that you cannot see, touch, but only "feel." With my heart... I "feel" you are close to me! I "feel" you cheer for me! I "feel" all your love! And for that I thank you from the bottom of my heart!
Grazie di cuore,