My name is Ilaria,

I’m 22 years old and at the moment my life is running pretty smoothly.
I am studying at the University to get a degree in Sports Science. I work and follow my passions.
I grew up in a small town in the province of Novara, in a family who surrounded me with love but who also had many difficulties, changing shape and members. However, I have learnt from them how to live in the world and what are the really important things.
I have practiced a lot of sports, but dancing has always been the one that stole my heart. Luckily, it is a passion that I can still pursue today, in my own training and that of little dancers who are beginning to approach the world of dance.
In addition to dance, I am particularly interested in fitness and physical health, considering the course of study I have undertaken. I hope it will offer me a future in which I can do what I like every day.
However, the most important part of my life is and will always be related to Poland Syndrome and my being a carrier of it.
I have obviously been a carrier since birth, but I was aware of it only in early adolescence. It was not easy to feel different every day for years, ashamed in front of the mirror or afraid of other people’s judgement. That’s why I isolated myself and I did not know how to behave with others because I thought that no one would understand or accept my diversity.
I just wanted to be normal, but I learnt to reject this word because growing up I realized that being special is much better.
I understood this when I found I was not the only one in the world, but there were other people like me. Actually there was a whole national association, Aisp , that completely changed my life for the better. A thank you will never be enough.
I started a medical journey that I would do again hundreds of times. It made me the person I am today.
This association and the people who are part of it have become my second family. They have helped me physically but above all, mentally. I have met people who are still friends that I love and I thank for every second of the precious time we spend together.
This is perhaps because we live miles away, but what unites us is much deeper.
It is impossible to forget, even for a second, to be a Poland Syndrome carrier. This is what made me an adult even as a child, because I am lucky enough to see the world with the awareness that enables you to give due weight to life’s problems.
I always try to see the best in things and people, even if it’s rare. I know it exists because, although it was so hard, in the end I was given a lot of kindness.
I also have friends close to me where I live, one in particular. They have been standing by me for many years and love me as I am.
Above all, I have a man by my side who fills my heart and my life with happiness and serenity. It will be impossible to give up on him.
There are still so many things I would like and need to improve in my journey, but I know I’m on the right way.
You always have to commit yourself and give your best. I often have thoughts about past choices that I would change, but I am learning to look forward and make the people close to me feel good, which is the most important thing.