“Life is worth living”. This phrase might appear obvious, even trivial. Yet, it is deeper than it might seem to be at a first glance, and it is pronounced by a young man who has managed to find the way out from the tunnel of his coma. Giorgio’s story is that of a rare disease which explodes all of a sudden and makes him end up in a hospital bed. The illness which had almost led him to the edge of death is obscure, almost unpronounceable: hereditary haemorrhagic teleangectasia.
Giorgio Fantozzi is only 19 year old. From the ring of a kickboxing gym – his athletic passion – he awakes in the emergency room of a hospital in Rome. The name of the pathology is Rendu-Osler -Weber syndrome. It blocks the connection of the capillaries between arteries and veins. Thus, blood flow is not slowed down and in the points where they meet blood vessels meet, they tend to become thinner due to higher pressure. But one does not always realize it. Often a bleeding nose sets off the alarm, but Giorgio and his family never paid attention to it, nobody knew they were healthy carriers.
The love of those who are dear to him and his strong faith in the Lord allowed him to overcome this critical moment, but the young man’s sentence has been clear: no more sport, it is too risky. In times when, if you are not “perfect”, if you cannot share the experiences of your peers, you basically become an outsider, it was hard for him. Become aware of the disease, accept its consequences, overcome difficulties, look towards the future. Many of his contemporaries are blocked by much more trivial “problems”: a hooked nose, lack of a fancy brand on their clothes become a sufficient reason to withdraw into themselves.
Whereas Giorgio embraces music, never “sought” before, he buys a guitar and enrols at Mogol’s school of authors. “Free to dream, free to return… seize the moments life gives us” recites one of his songs. And if you follow the thread of ideas throughout his first album, self-produced with great sacrifice by his father Carlo, you will understand the new life perspective of a boy who grew up all of a sudden. A slap in the face of those who think that young people today are not able to react, but also a teaching for those young people who are too focused on ephemeral things.
“He will fight every day to have one more hour, because life, be it beautiful or ugly, is this one”. Or else: “With our heads held high, we shout in your faces, we will stay on our feet. We show our teeth, we look ahead and believe us, we will die on our feet”. These words, enclose all his desire not to give up, but also awareness that “to believe” is important. Not only in ourselves, not only in the future. Also in God, who governs all things and gives hope: “My Love – writes Giorgio – arm yourself with God’s patience ‘cause on this journey, now I drive a bit too.
Suffering is often not only of the individual, but of everyone around him/her. Those who struggle to survive are the protagonists, but those who suffer at their side are probably those who need Lord’s comfort the most, and this comes out clearly from his texts. Awareness that only those who have experienced what it means to “stand on the threshold” can understand.
We work, we run, we are making a lot of fuss about things: anyone recognizes his/her own everyday life in this description? Yet we need to “stop for a second, rediscover all things, and understand that doing this can give meaning to an entire life”.
Giorgio will present his disc in Rieti, the city he lives in, on November 14. The appointment is at 5pm at “Maison 57”. It is the day of his rebirth, of his conquest of a new life. And a day to help many sick people who do not even know they are sick, considering the perfidy of HHT, as the syndrome is called in jargon. The income from the CD will be donated to research, to seek a cure for this rare disease.
The strength of the family, and the help of prayer. And, finally, also awareness that we must start doing something if we want to see beautiful things happen in the face of adversities. “And whatever happens, bet on yourself and when the world will fall down, everything will fall. But not you”. In conclusion: “I will show you my own way of life – says Giorgio to a hypothetical lady – don’t worry, I’m the one who’s paying”.