Laura Magenta

Palinuro Association
My name is Laura Magenta. I was born in Milan on the 23rd January 1964. I am the youngest of two girls, where way back in my family tree for many generations my family have lived in Lombardy. I am now separated with 2 children, 22 and 24yrs of age. I passed my exams for corresponding business expert in foreign languages. I would really have liked to have been a vet but having to keep up with my studies, I had to begin working at 19, and have done so ever since. I was an office worker for over 15 years in an international transport company, then I moved on to another firm where I remained for 12 more years as a press reviewer, then again for another 8 years in a professional catering service. I’ve always covered roles of secretary on a commercial level. Since February 2019 I decided to change my situation and chose to work not any more in the profit section but preferred the non profit.
Let’s get to know more about her
Laura is a woman who likes to try out new things and isn’t terrified of anything. I have a few questions which I would like you to answer so we can get to know you more.
I know you personally, Laura, and know how much you are worth and how strong and determined you are so I would like that everybody who reads this article also get to know you better. Let’s start from the beginning and pretend you have to interview yourself. Who is Laura and what would she tell us to break the ice?
I’m a woman like many but like many I have my personal story, made up of a family, affection, friends and experiences. I passed a tranquil and pleasant childhood. My family have always been good Catholic  practitioners, so naturally I attended Church regulary and the Franciscan friars. I attended the theatre and have always loved singing and music. In fact  I met the man who became my husband frequenting these places. We built our house bit by bit, beginning from something small and then we found ourselves with two splendid children, even though in the last few years things have changed and we have had to take different directions. But we are still held together by a deep esteem  and affect. Unexpectedly when I was 22 yrs old  then I lost my father and even though 33 years have gone by, I still miss him immensely. Apart from this there was np other important illnesses in my family and I myself have always enjoyed good health
Your life unfortunately changed in 2016. It was something different than happening for a traumatic event – for example – a road accident which doesn’t give you time to realise there will be suddenly terrible changes in your life. You instead had to fight against this hidden pain which was slowly ruining your life from your inside. Imagine there was a moment when you had to make certain decisions in one direction or another, either fight it or just give up. What was it that permitted you to have the courage to decide not to give up and try to dominate the illness?
On 2015 when it all began, I suffered the first cystis with bleeding. From that moment I had to go through a series of therapy, visits and exams, which a year later was diagnosed as a rare tumour, very agressive, a adenocarcinoma in the uterus. I didn’t even have time to digest it all and I couldn’t see a way out and on the other hand there was no time to be lost. Every minute was precious. The bladder had to be removed and  all the abdominal organs except the intestines. This was the only possible solution. It was proceeded by three powerful and  intrusive cycles of chemo treatment. Then the doctors communicated to me that I would hav eto undergo an operation where I would have an external urinari derivation made in my body which was that of a young woman. This was a very important moment for me because it was now time to decide whether I wanted to continue with my life and continue to live. I knew the answer straight away as I had too much I wanted to do and see before leaving this world. I wanted to experiment different things, I wanted to give and help others, I had my children, my mother and my sister. All very dear to me. My singing and music, walking my dog, reading and my music.
I didn’t want all this to stop as they are things which fill my heart with joy. So I decided to combat the tumour and that it would then disappear and be defeated and I would remain here on earth. There wasn’t to be any discussion. I was going to win!
Proprio in Gamba is a project which began because of my passion for traveling and to take up the problems of disabled at 360 degrees. A vast theme and heterogeneous if one thinks that lots of people are born disabled but on the other hand you can become disabled during your  lifetime. What does the word ‘disabled’ mean to you?
For me the word means that a person has a disadvantage, a person has lost something which belonged to them, a function and which becomes limited from that moment on and also lessens the capacity of movement. Therefore I am really ‘one able to do things but in a different way than others as I no longer have all the organs which allowed me to urinate as before, but
that doesn’t stop me from living a practical normal life. What I mean is even though I have  physical limitations for certain  things that before were normal, I can still lead a satisfactory dignified life and above  all  rich of new things, even more than before, which is thanks to the experience of being disabled. From my experience the word disabled has a  positive and not negative meaning.
An impressive story, But now let’s lighten the story and talk about the ideas you have about traveling. Have you also had this passion for a long time or had you discovered it long before your illness? Can you remember your first true holiday?
I’ve always loved traveling but for many years I never had the possibility money-wise to do it, especially places a long distance away and therefore have found myself limited from this point of view. As time has passed work and increase in pay has helped me to organize trips further away and explore more places. My first true trip was to New York (Florida and self-road to Orlando and Houston) the Southern states of America.
Have you got a certain desire for a certain trip hidden away?
Oh yes I have. I would love to go back to the USA and visit the American Parks and also seeing San Francisco. But also Canada and Australia which sooner or later I wish to do. I’ve also just returned from Island which I had been contemplating for a long time. It was fantastic! Can’t say more!
Let’s talk about the relative problems in regards to traveling. The  theme  which started my exploit on my blog. We all obviously have  different necessities but I think that you like many others cannot just put your backpack on and go off anywhere in the world, without the ,minimum planning beforehand. How do you go about it and what kind of information do you usually look for and where?
The main problem for me and everybody else who are in the same position and the same disability as me, consists of  having first of all decent sanitation which is very important for us, as we need to change many times and at least to have always near us a private wash basin. This is not easy to find, especially in Italy itself (which is absurd!). In Italy bathrooms for disabled (where they exist) in local places are often difficult to get to. Therefore in my travel program, I must have lots of stops for a toilet where I can empty my bag containing urine and if necessary substitute help to collect the urine, Where there are no bathrooms , it is possible if there are no sanitary places, if one is at ease doing it, to organize a single use product but of course one still needs a reserved place to do this, even though, sometimes, in an  emergency I have had to stop anywhere!
Let’s go back to yourself and your actual life. Let’s talk about PaLiNUro. How did you get to hear about this place, what does it represented to you and what could it still offer to any of us? Adesso ritorniamo a te ed alla tua vita attuale. Parlaci di PaLiNUro. Come li hai conosciuti, cosa hanno rappresentato per te e cosa potrebbero offrire ad ognuno di noi.
  PaLiNUro The Patient’s association’ in Italy which occupies itself with  ‘tumour on the bladder’ was my ‘light into the harbour’ when I was very ill. They gave me a description of what my life would be like from then on and what kind of future I could expect which was almost normal. They told me I  would just have to follow the steps in front of me and at least get halfway. They didn’t leave me alone even when the hospital personnel were not able to tell me all and gave me little information about how I could continue my life after the operation.
This is when the PaLINUro doesn’t leave you on your own , they cover this space, give you all possible information, sustain you and stay by your side where the voluntary worker sits near your bedside. She talks to you and you are free to phone her whenever you need help.
This is a rare and  precious help. For me it is an honor to collaborate  with you and with this association.What extra value do you feel you can give  to the  project Proprio in Gamba?
Proprio in Gamba shares the same values and attitudes as us even though in different ways. We have the same intentions in the way we want to communicate our experiences and the fact that it is possible to start a new life and forget the important illness and begin once again living life in the best way possible and to be strong enough to superate it when there sometimes crop up more difficulties. We understand that whoever finds themselves in our situation how they feel as we have already had to  try to overcome it ourselves.
Good work Laura, it will really be a great pleasure to collaborate with you as you a person who it is pleasant to listen to. to read about and somebody from whom there is always something new to learn. Your life story itself shows us how we should continue to live with courage and strength  and I have no doubts that you will be appreciated and welcomed right away by our Readers of Proprio in Gamba!


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