From May to September, the «sAIL Camp» project of psychological rehabilitation for about forty onco-haematological patients from all over Italy, promoted by the Italian Association against leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma of Brescia, will be back, which will give them the two days in the splendid setting of Campione del Garda guided by the instructors Univela Campione del Garda and Andrew Simpson Foundation and accompanied by a multidisciplinary team made up of doctors, nurses, psychologists and nutritionists.
«It is an extraordinary synthesis between uncontaminated nature, thanks to the Alto Garda Park, and psycho-oncological rehabilitation. These two elements give the sick new energy and new motivation. The sport of sailing combined with trekking provide extraordinary emotions and sensations. An in-depth study of a nutritional nature also helps to ensure that patients return from the Camp profoundly changed» said Giuseppe Navoni, president of AIL Brescia and creator of the initiative.
“The experience of the sailboat allows you to challenge yourself, get involved with your body, enter into relationships with other people who have shared the experience of cancer,” he said Silvia Copeca, psychologist of Ail Bresciaexplaining how «it is also an opportunity to talk about the quality of life andimportance of taking over the helm of one’s life, learning to integrate wounds into the life path. It is a beginning, because clearly, to obtain long-term results, a more structured psychological path will then be needed».
The sailor also supports the initiative Emilia Salvatore, 14-year-old from Fraglia Vela Desenzano optimist European champion in Sondeborg in Denmark: «Sailing is a beautiful sport, which offers a special contact with nature, but it is also a lifestyle, which changes you inside. When I sail I disconnect from the world, there is nothing like feeling the waves and the wind». The moment with the patients is also very appreciated by the instructors, he revealed the manager of the Univela di Campione del Garda, Tristano Vacondio, who recalled how «you never stop learning in the water. Better to fill your mind with new memories than try to erase old ones.”. The project will be carried out in residential mode and is open to follow-up patients from all over Italy, and will be developed over four weekends in Campione del Garda (Who program, dates and information).
«sAIL Camp» was born from the «Ithaca Project», a sailing event organized since 2007 by Ail Brescia and some important sailing clubs, but temporarily suspended due to the pandemic. «Project Ithaca» returns on June 3rd, first stage at the Lugano sailing club, to continue until September touching Mandello del Lario, Salò, Desenzano, Sulzano, Sarnico and Gargnano. Finally, again in June, between the 20th and 23rd, at the turn of the national day for the fight against blood diseases, there will be “Dreaming of Ithaca 2.0”: the national Ail boat will set sail from Trieste to arrive in Brindisi and oncohaematological awareness events will take place along the stages with the participation of doctors and healthcare personnel.
The initiatives were presented in the Casa Ail Emilia Lucchini in Brescia which, with its 7 apartments, plus another 8 throughout the city, provides free hospitality to oncohaematological patients who go to the hospital for visits or treatments and for their companions. «In 2022, we hosted 84 families, corresponding to 64 patients and 196 carers for a total of 327 admissions, of which 8 were children» explains the reception manager Laura Oro. «Here, everyone is autonomous but, so that no one feels alone, the week is punctuated with various appointments, such as Wednesdays with the AIL volunteers, Tuesdays with the association Barbara’s smile for dyeing and styling and, then, also the make-up lessons with the Esa association».
Photo by Artem Verbo on Unsplash