Cyclamen Day, an annual fundraiser in support of the Italian Group for the Fight against Scleroderma (GILS), kicked off on September 22nd and will continue throughout October. The initiative aims to raise awareness and funds for research projects and early diagnosis of scleroderma, a rare autoimmune disease that predominantly affects women.
One of the highlights of this year’s Cyclamen Day is the participation of Mara Maionchi, a well-known record company executive and GILS testimonial since 2009. Maionchi has been actively involved in supporting the association’s fight against scleroderma for over 20 years. In an interview with Donna Moderna, she expressed her commitment to raising awareness and funding for the association’s scientific research projects.
The collaboration between Maionchi and GILS began when she met Carla Garbagnati Crosti, the Honorary President of GILS, who introduced her to the challenges faced by those with systemic sclerosis. Inspired by their dedication, Maionchi decided to contribute to the cause by becoming a testimonial for GILS.
Being a GILS testimonial gives Maionchi a sense of satisfaction as she feels she is making a positive impact on an important cause. However, she acknowledges that the real work is done by the volunteers, doctors, and patients who form the solid GILS network.
Maionchi emphasizes the importance of prevention in everyday life, drawing from her personal experience with early cancer detection. She urges women to prioritize regular check-ups, emphasizing that prevention can save lives and improve the quality of life.
In addition to raising awareness and funds, Cyclamen Day also focuses on the significance of early diagnosis. Timely detection allows for immediate treatment that can slow down the progression of the disease and ensure a better quality of life. As part of the campaign, the “Open Hospitals” project will provide free capillaroscopy tests in selected hospital centers across Italy to intercept early symptoms of systemic sclerosis.
To support the cause further, GILS has launched a social campaign called #labellezzacheresiste (#beautyresists). The campaign features portraits of women with systemic sclerosis who proudly display their real beauty, even with the physical changes caused by the disease. These photos symbolize not only aesthetic beauty but also complexity, courage, and self-acceptance.
Cyclamen Day and its testimonial Mara Maionchi continue to play a vital role in supporting research against scleroderma and raising awareness about this challenging disease. Individuals interested in participating in the campaign can find more information and discover the squares and hospitals involved on the GILS website (www.sclerodermia.net).