the story (and short) winner of the «A flanking to courage» Award – WWN

the story (and short) winner of the «A flanking to courage» Award – WWN

Of Health editorial team

The literary prize gives voice to illness stories narrated from the perspective of male caregivers who accompany women with cancer in the treatment process

As tell to two small children that mom got sick of cancer
? Using the metaphor of toy soldiers, which are “injected” in the hospital to fight against bad cells. Soldiers is the title of Luca Locatelli’s story winner of the sixth edition of the literary prize Alongside courage
promoted by Roche Italia to give voice to the stories of men

family members

they take care

free of charge for sick or non-self-sufficient relatives with disabilities ed) alongside women
with an oncological disease or onco-haematological. On November 21st, the short film of the same name was premiered in Rome, directed by Daniele Barbiero and the screenplay by Marika Tassone, student of the Creating stories course promoted by Anica Academy Ets, also awarded during the event.

Two out of three family caregivers are women

According to data fromHigher Institute of Healthin Italy approximately two out of three family caregivers are women aged between 45 and 64 years; Often they also work outside the home or, in most cases, have he abandoned his job to dedicate himself full time to care. Some studies have highlighted how the different degree of discomfort experienced by male or female caregivers, in the care experience, could be associated with different social expectations related to gender.

Gender perspective

The aim of the literary prize, created in 2016, is to tell the stories stories of men who live the experience of caregivers of their wives, partners, daughters, friends, who are facing cancer, trying to overturn gender stereotypes.
As Benedetta Nicastro, general secretary of the award and Communication Head of Roche, explained: We have chosen to give space to the positive stories of those who, faced with difficulties, decide to stay and find the necessary momentum to move forward. The aim is to make men feel less unprepared and women less alone when facing an illness.
The short film Soldiersbased on the story of the same name that won the literary prize, produced by MP Film and starring Marco Quaglia, Chiara Cavalieri, Luca Quadrano and Benedetta Lucidi, will be released soon through the circuits and channels of the initiative’s partners (AIL-Italian Association against Leukemia, Lymphoma and Myeloma; Anica Academy; C+C; Ciaopeople; DottNet; Edra; FAVO-Italian Federation of Voluntary Oncology Associations; Massimo Ferrero Cinemas; Mediaset; 20; Focus, Iris; La5; Medusa; Mp Film; Radiomediaset; The Space Cinema; Vidiemme).

The research: Men tend to “control” their emotions

On the occasion of the award ceremony, the results of research were presented Aside from the stories, carried out by Eikon Strategic Consulting, aimed at bringing out – from the narratives collected over the years by the initiative Alongside courage
perceptions, experiences and needs from a perspective of caregiving of gender. Well, it turned out that even men in the role of caregivers adapt to the gender social model that requires strength from them, control, detachment and protection and in which controlled empathy prevails. More than one in three caregivers explicitly states that they have exercised a deliberate control over one’s emotions hiding them or living them in solitude.
The analysis of the stories brings out the articulated value of the project “A flanking courage”, which represented an action of story advocacy and listening and, at the same time, offered caregivers a protected narrative space that allowed them to share experiences and emotions that they rarely have the opportunity to express

commented Cristina Centi, one of the authors of the research. Being a support without supporting yourselfin turn, a difficult task that can lead to highly uncomfortable situations. To be effective as a caregiver, lMan tends to make his suffering invisible to others, which, in a negative cycle, results in loneliness and isolation. There gender maskfrom a resource, risks turning into a problem in turn.

Give family caregivers proper recognition

The awards evening was attended by, among others, the members of the jury chaired by Gianni Letta, the Minister for Disability Alessandra Locatelli and Carolina Marconi, ambassador of Alongside Courage.
The Award offers us an unprecedented point of view that brings to the foreground sometimes invisible elements of those who experience an illness and of those who are close to them – said the president of the jury Letta -. This initiative reminds us how much that is Sharing even moments of difficulty is important because from them we can draw the courage to move forward, despite everything.
He told
olina Marconi, ambassador of the initiative
: When the cancer diagnosis arrived, the world collapsed on me and my partner Alessandro, but we have We faced this battle together and now we are stronger. There is still too little talk about men like Alessandro, who remain at your side when you face an oncological disease: “Alongside courage”, who has told their stories over the years, has contributed to changing the perception of men in the role of caregiver.
For his part, the Minister for Disabilities he thanked family caregivers, men and women, who take care of their loved ones, often making sacrifices. With the’the
establishment of the interministerial table for family caregivers – said Locatelli – we will work hard to give caregivers proper recognition and the hope of no longer feeling alone.

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November 21, 2023 (modified November 21, 2023 | 7:10 pm)

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