My name is Kevin,
I am 11 years old and I am a Poland Syndrome carrier. It affected the left side of my body.
I am missing my left pectoral muscle and I have a smaller hand.
I have experienced difficulties building relationships with my peers. They gave me a nickname due to my hand defect.
I have never had problems living with my hand defect.
I live in the north of Italy and when I was 6 years old I started having a passion, dancing.
I have pursued and I am still pursuing this passion.
I like dancing because it is a way to express who I am and what I feel.
I have always been aware of having Poland Syndrome, but this did not stop me from moving forward without any difficulty.
As the years passed, my self-confidence grew, despite the awareness that some hip-hop and break dance moves are not suitable for my health.
I kept dancing and I won several regional competitions. A few times ago I took part in an Italian competition in Rimini and I won the first prize in C category!!
It was a very important victory for me.
From that moment, I understood that a physical problem can’t stop you from a dream…
A DREAM CAN COME TRUE!!
I want to encourage you to have the strength and the self-esteem to move forward even in case of problems, because life does not stop for problems, life is a dream that goes on.
My name is Igor,
when I was a kid I used to watch all Bruce Lee’s movies and his Kung Fu…I would see that tiny man doing astonishing things.
I wanted to become like him, I wanted to do what he did…I wanted to be like that tiny man who made a lot of young people in the ‘80s crazy with his screams and his moves.
After months of begging, crying and promises, I convinced my mother to call the only Kung fu gym in Genoa.
One afternoon she sat on the bed and called a master.
I was in the other room and I could not listen, but I could see her expression reflecting in the mirror…
I could not wait, I was so excited…finally my dream would come true…my heart was beating wildly, my eyes were shining with happiness.
I was waiting anxiously. Time was not passing. A few minutes phone call seemed endless…
There…finally the phone call ended. She sat for a few seconds – no winces nor changes of expression in the face – with her head bent.
She sighed heavily and she slowly stood up, with no expression on her face, looking downward. At that point, that happiness and excitement that had come over me during the whole phone call slowly faded away. She approached me, looked up at me and, with a sad voice, said: “YOU CAN’T DO IT”.
My God…I felt like I was dying inside.
I asked her, and her answer was as exhaustive as destructive for a 9-year-old kid.
“BECAUSE IT IS VERY HARD AND YOU NEED TO HAVE A PERFECT BODY.
YOU, HONEY, YOU DON’T HAVE IT. YOU KNOW IT..”.
In that moment I felt like I have never felt before…FLAWED.
That flaw which is not just in your body, but also in your mind. It gets inside and consumes you every day…as long as you live.
After many years and different sports I realized that I could do a lot of things.
I AM NOT SOMEONE WHO GIVES UP EASILY, I did what I wanted. I joined a martial arts school, without much approval.
But in the end, after years and years of hard work…I became a Taekwondo Master with more than 80 students.
I won 3 International Championships.
I came in third place twice in the Italian Championship.
And in 2013 I came in fourth place in the World Masters Championship.
I HAVE GOT THIS FAR BECAUSE NO ONE CAN SAY I AM FLAWED. NO ONE CAN SAY WE CAN’T DO IT. WE CAN DO ANYTHING, BECAUSE EACH ONE OF US IS SPECIAL, BECAUSE EACH ONE OF US CAN DO WHATEVER…