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With Allevi, all the patients took to the stage at the Ariston

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With Allevi, all the patients took to the stage at the Ariston

«My presence in Sanremo certainly does not mean a victory, myeloma cannot be cured, but the immense joy of living in the present» the musician-composer Giovanni Allevi said in the press conference, making it clear that his would be a powerful performance, despite the obvious physical frailty. «If someone had told me months ago that I would be here today I wouldn’t have believed it. With my presence, I intend to give strength and hope to other patients, because they give it to me and I want to reciprocate.”

On the second evening of the festival, when introducing the piano performance, the first after two years in which illness forced him to abandon the stage, Giovanni Allevi addressed a few words to the audience. His monologue he spoke to the minds and hearts of everyone, without distinction, with or without an oncological diagnosisinvited by the artist to appreciate life in its present, living it with gratitude and gratitude for what it has to offer. And, this is the unspoken subtext, it invites us to do it immediately, without waiting for an illness or tragedy to change our outlook on ourselves and on the world. Allevi says that once, «during a concert in a theater, in front of an empty seats, I felt faint: how was it possible? Today, after my illness, I don’t know what I would give to play in front of 15 people. The numbers don’t matter. Each individual is unique, unrepeatable and in his own infinite way.”

The diagnosis of cancer is a trauma and a moment of fracture, but finding the resources to move forward is possible, each at their own pace and with a little help. «Suddenly everything collapsed for me. I haven’t played the piano in public for almost two years. The last time, at concert hall from Vienna, the pain in my back was so bad that I couldn’t get up from the stool and I still didn’t know I was sick. Then the diagnosis came, I looked at the ceiling with the sensation of having a fever of 39 for a consecutive year. I lost a lot of my job, my hair and my certainties but not hope and the desire to imagine.”

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The unexpected gifts

«It was as if the pain also gave me unexpected gifts» he confesses, smiling despite the obvious physical pain. The change in perspective towards life, nature and others has given him «lto gratitude towards the beauty of creation. The sunrises and sunsets I admired from the hospital rooms cannot be counted. Recognition for the talent of doctorsnurses and all hospital staff [Allevi è in cura in un istituto pubblico, l’Istituto nazionale dei tumori di Milano, che oggi ha risposto dichiarando che il grazie del paziente è il punto più alto della sua propria missione – Allevi nei parla anche nel suo profilo instagram ndr]; for scientific research without which I wouldn’t be here to talk to you; for the support of my family. For strength, affection and example that I receive from other patients. I brought them all here with me on stage. They are an example of authentic life.”

We need to evolve to find meaning

«Allevi spoke as a patient, he took their side, he brought them on stage and represented them all there. He was very brave to tackle a similar topic in that context, perhaps light, but emotionally very difficult, instead of just playing. He decided to share his personal evolution in recent years in an authentic way » he explains Claudia Borreani, head of clinical psycho-oncology at the National Cancer Institute of Milan. «Of course, he brought his own way of dealing with the tumor and we know that everyone has their own style and times. Not everyone is able to focus on the opportunities that illness can provide for personal growth and a new interpretation of the world, of themselves and of their own fragilities». In this regard, the psycho-oncologist recalls the recent participation of the writer Alessandro Baricco in “Che tempo che fa”, where she told Fabio Fazio about his leukemia. And she invites you to consider the change that has already occurred in society, given that in the past we could not talk about cancer except in terms of suffering. «Despite being immersed in his difficult reality, Allevi did not limit himself to sharing his personal experience but it represented a condition, acceptance, opportunities that can be seized to evolve. Because, whether it’s cancer or something else, if the situation is complex and difficult, often all we have to do is evolve, precisely to find a meaning that allows you to stay in the experience».

If the situation is complex and difficult, often all we have to do is evolve, precisely to find a meaning that allows you to stay in the experience

Claudia Borreani, psychologist at the National Cancer Institute

Ail: a country of solidarity helps patients

«Allevi’s most important message is the one relating to hope in life and also to trust in our national health service, an important heritage to be protected due to its universal nature and therefore committed to taking care of anyone in need» he commented Pino Toro, national president of the Italian Association against leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. «The profound emotion that Maestro Allevi’s presence in Sanremo aroused in all of us is an extraordinary opportunity to reiterate the importance of being close to patients and investing in the future by supporting research; an incentive to work ever harder to build a better tomorrow for those who fall ill, as the song suggests Tomorrow performed by the Master, a song full of hope for a “tomorrow [dove] May there always be a more beautiful day waiting for us”». Multiple myeloma is the second largest blood cancer in Italy, affecting approximately 2,700 women and 3,000 men every year. Despite numerous advances in diagnosis and therapy that have led to increased life expectancy and long periods of disease control, everyday life remains an obstacle course. Allevi talks about his back pain: «Some patients have very strong pain, which prevents them from leaving the house. They need psychological assistance and accompaniment; it is important that we talk about it, even on occasions like these, because a country of solidarity helps patients move forward».

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Being and accepting yourself

«When everything collapses and only the essential remains standing, the judgment we receive from the outside no longer matters. I am what I am, we are what we are. I want to accept the new Giovanni. How liberating it is to be yourself» he concludes and, heading towards the piano, warns the room with all eyes and ears: «I have neuropathy and two vertebral fractures. No longer being able to rely on my body I will play with all my soul».

When everything collapses and only the essential remains standing, external judgment no longer matters. How liberating it is to be yourself

Giovanni Allevi

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