“Cancer research offers hope, a precious gift that we all need.” In a very short time, Mara Buccelli, 34 years old, from Grosseto, went from being a victim of cancer to an ambassador of hope. This young woman is today in fact one of the faces of the historic campaign of the AIRC Foundation “The Days of Research“, an initiative which over the years has made it possible to raise over 139 million euros for research and which, from today, will accompany us on a month-long journey: from the traditional ceremony at the Quirinale Palace this morning to the involvement of television broadcasts and Rai radio stations, up to Serie A and national football stadiums and Italian squares.
Mara, from diagnosis to commitment to Airc
Mara’s story is very similar to those of many other young women whose lives have been turned upside down, literally, by a devastating diagnosis: cancer. “I was trying to get pregnant and it didn’t happen and in the end I discovered I had a serious high-grade adenocarcinoma on my right ovary,” she says. “It happened in 2021, in the middle of the pandemic, after the sudden death of my mother and grandmother,” she adds.
Far from being a bolt from the blue, the diagnosis was yet another stab after difficult months. “First the radical surgery, which at just 31 years of age made it impossible for me to have children. Then – continues the young woman – chemotherapy, hair loss and at the same time the discovery of a world, outside the family, made up of people, doctors and nurses, able to support you just like my mother would have done.”
The dramatic events that overwhelmed her never made her lose faith. “We must rely on doctors and science, have respect for those who fight on the same side as us patients, for those who support us and believe in our recovery”, she says. “It is their work that today allows us to anticipate diagnoses as much as possible, so as to give us hope because research can heal even the deepest wounds”, she adds.
by Dario Rubino
Today Marta is fine. She is no longer the same woman she was before her illness. She is stronger and more confident. Her smile shines and she uses it to encourage and support all those who are “hungry” for hope. “AIRC is a hope, the one that every patient who faces treatment has”, she underlines.
The importance of research in the fight against tumors
The slogan chosen this year by the AIRC Foundation for its campaign reads: “Research cures”. In fact, while cancer continues to represent an emergency – in Italy last year approximately 390,000 new tumors were diagnosed, more than 1000 per day – the flame of hope continues to remain lit thanks to research.
“Advances in oncology research have led to a significant global improvement in the cancer survival rate with a significant acceleration in recent years,” he states. Andrea Sironi, president of the AIRC Foundation. “But this cannot be enough because there is still a lot to do to guarantee a cure for all patients, it is essential not to stop and continue to invest in the best research”, he adds.
The program of initiatives
Many events are scheduled. The AIRC campaign in fact branches out on multiple fronts. It starts with the RAI marathon: for eight days, from 5 to 12 Novemberthe hosts and protagonists of the research talk about scientific progress and invite the public to support the researchers’ work through the site airc.it and solidarity number 45521. Next 11 Novemberinstead, AIRC volunteers will distribute the “Research Chocolates” in 2 thousand squares for a donation of 13 euros, with a guide containing an in-depth analysis of treatments for colorectal cancer and four health comics signed by Sio, Dado, Fraffrog and Giacomo Bevilacqua. AIRC Chocolates will also be available throughout the month of November in 1,350 Banco BPM branches, AIRC’s institutional partner, and online on Amazon.it.
by Tiziana Moriconi
L’8 and 9 NovemberFurthermore, AIRC will reach over 90 first and second level schools with the aim of bringing young people closer to the beauty of science. Finally, the 10, 11, 12 and 17 November the football champions and the Serie A TIM teams take to the field alongside AIRC to invite their fans to score “A Goal for Research”, supporting young scientific talents. The initiative is carried out with FIGC, Lega Serie A, TIM and AIA and promoted in collaboration with the sports media. The Azzurri will also make their contribution on November 17th during the friendly match between Italy and North Macedonia.