Posts filed under ‘Italy’

Roma, Italia – Our Final Stop

Claire and I got back into Austin late Sunday night. We left Wilson in NYC for LIVESTRONG Day. He joined Lance and Doug on Tuesday for a four-city tour of LIVESTRONG Day events across the country. They started in NYC followed by Columbus, Ohio…then off to Denver, Colorado (where they crossed paths with Beth, Jen, and Charlie) and ended the day in Las Vegas, Nevada. I haven’t heard the details yet but I’m sure it was an amazing and inspiring day.

I’m on day four of recovery from our trip and just starting to feel human again. Last night, I actually went to bed after 8pm and slept until 7pm. I woke up well rested and ready to blog about Italy. Sorry for the delay on the final post. Italy was our shortest leg of the whole trip and our schedule was nuts. We arrived around noon on Thursday after an overnight flight from Cape Town. We stopped in Johannesburg and Athens en route. That afternoon, we went out to shoot some iconic footage of Italy. Our hotel was right by the Colosseum so it was easy for us to jump out the door and start shooting. We got some great footage of the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, and the beautiful streets of Rome. We had blue skies and sunshine.

On Friday, we spent the morning at Fatebenefratelli General Hospital. This place was absolutely gorgeous. The hospital resides in a beautiful old building on a little island. There was amazing light in all of the patient rooms and a beautiful outdoor courtyard complete with a fountain and turtles. We interviewed Dr. Vittorina Zagonel, the head of oncology, in the courtyard. They’re implementing some great programs at the hospital to improve cancer patient care – one team throughout the entire treatment. We also interviewed two cancer survivors – Sally and Carlo. They were both great and very strong. One thing that came out with our survivor interviews here was the importance of being able to continue working or getting back to work as soon as possible. Sally would head back to work right after a chemo treatment. This really seemed to give her strength and help her maintain some sense of normalcy. 

From the hospital, we went to AiMAC, the Italian Association for Cancer Patients. They’re a great patient advocacy organization lead by Dr. Franceso De Lorenzo. Dr. De Lorenzo is a cancer survivor himself and sadly lost his wife and both parents to cancer. Through his experience and frustration as a cancer patient, he created AiMAC. He told us that, in Italy, cancer patients feel very cared for in the hospital and during their treatment but feel very abandoned once they’re done. This is also something we hear very often in speaking to cancer survivors in the US. So, AiMAC was created to step in. They have amazing resources – informational brochures and pamphlets, a helpline, and work tirelessly to pass laws that support the rights of cancer patients. They recently passed some legislation to protect jobs of cancer patients as well as those of their families (so they could take time off care for/support the cancer patient). Pretty amazing work! 

On Saturday, we ran all over the streets of Rome interviewing people about the perception of cancer. We interviewed 21 people, many of whom had been touched by cancer. Here are some photos of the people we met in Italy.

So, now I’m back in Austin and processing this amazing adventure and experience. Luckily, we have it all on film and will get to relive it as we start editing and reading the transcripts from all of our interviews. Thanks for joining us on this fantastic, life-changing journey.

May 15, 2008 at 9:30 am 1 comment


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