Home » Silvio and his love for the mountains: “Even those who have had a transplant can go trekking”

Silvio and his love for the mountains: “Even those who have had a transplant can go trekking”

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Silvio and his love for the mountains: “Even those who have had a transplant can go trekking”

From Val Gandino to Alta Valtellina, passing through Val Taleggio, upper Val Brembana, Alpe Arera and Valcanale. Seven outings, up and down the mountain, to enjoy everything it has to offer: landscapes, uncontaminated nature and physical fatigue. Even for those who have undergone a transplant and who can benefit from trekking. This is demonstrated by the results collected over the years through the project “Walking with Luisa”, which offers transplant recipients the opportunity to try their hand at mountain excursions to improve their physical and mental well-being. All under the guidance of Silvio Calvi, expert from the CAI of Bergamo and himself a liver transplant recipient. This year the project has reached its tenth edition: the 7 scheduled releases will take place from 7 April to 30 June, two weeks apart from each other.

Silvio Calvi

How the project was born

The initiative is dedicated to Luisa Savoldelliliver transplant recipient and mountain enthusiast: “Before her health conditions worsened I went on several excursions with Luisa, and they were those that sparked the idea of ​​starting a program that would allow transplant recipients to carry out this type of activity – Calvi tells Salute – Then Luisa passed away and from there the need arose not only to start it, but also to dedicate it to her. The project is also supported by her family.” The first editions date back to about ten years ago: “The idea was floating in the air, and at a certain point with the transplant center in Bergamo we evaluated the opportunity to institutionalize it. Thus we obtained the approval of the ethics committee of the Papa Giovanni XXIII Hospital”, continues Calvi.

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Sport as a health ally for transplant recipients

The project is part of the “Transplant and now sport” research protocol, promoted by the Ministry of Health and the National Transplant Center and designed to verify the effects of sporting activity on patients who have undergone any organ transplant. The results of the research protocol are clear: physical exercise helps prevent metabolic, cardiovascular and osteoarticular pathologies caused by the drug therapy to which these patients are subjected. Furthermore, constant and personalized physical activity tends to lead to a reduction in fat mass, an average 10% increase in aerobic capacity, and also to a better perception of one’s psycho-physical state of health. The benefits of mountain excursions were also specifically evaluated during the first years of the project, with clear positive results: “Over the first 5 years there was a certain attention to post-exercise evaluation. Now we no longer do these tests because the doctors considered that the technical data were sufficient – Calvi continues – Generally we start with excursions that involve a difference in altitude of 600-700, then reaching 1000 metres. We do the first six excursions in the morning, so as to arrive at the refuge at lunch time and then go back down. The last outing, however, involves an overnight stay in Bormio at the end of June”.

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Who can participate

Registration is open to transplant recipients who are being treated at the Bergamo hospital, who can commit to participating in all the excursions or just some – subject to verification of their suitability for sporting activity – but also to their family members, friends and to the operators of the ASST Pope John XXIII. Precisely in these days we are starting to plan the visits that will take place in the month of March. On average, each outing has around twenty transplanted participants. In addition to the need to receive approval from the sports doctor, activity is generally recommended starting 12 months after the transplant. The entire group, explains Calvi, follows the same type of process, regardless of whether they are liver, lung or bone marrow transplant recipients.

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To register it is necessary to fill in the membership form available at the CUPs of the Papa Giovanni XXIII Hospital in Bergamo and on the ASST Papa Giovanni XXIII website.

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