0600Since I was a child Anna Fusco, a beautiful 31-year-old Roman, has had to adapt to a world made and designed by people with two hands, even if she has only one hand. TO Light! he writes to tell his story: “I am born without the left hand and forearm. Doctors have never been able to explain why. I had to learn to face life by adapting myself. My parents immediately put me in front of reality, telling me what I could do and what not. The discovery of myself, from a very young age, was traumatic. I was just a little girl, I had to grow up fast and I had no choice. But the people who loved me would repeat to me ‘If you see the problem, others will see it too’. Later I realized they were right ”. Despite the difficulties, which were many, Anna fought for the right to live a normal life, and every time in life she fell, she always got up stronger than before. “Over time I also realized that if I wasn’t the first to accept myself, the others couldn’t”.
Therefore Anna began to study singing, acting and dancing, his greatest passions. She has learned to playing the piano using the prosthesis, he participated in several singing competitions including “Sanremo Area” and twice in the contest Miss Italy, in 2014 and 2018, reaching the regional final in both cases. “In 2014 I walked with the prosthesis and I was the first girl to participate in Miss Italy with a limb prosthesis. In 2018 I got back into the game, but this time without the need to wear the prosthesis or hide. And I’ve never worn it in any of the other evenings of the selections, because this is me and I’m not ashamed. I love myself so as they are. This is the message I want to send to myself and to those who are like me “. Since then Anna is rights activist equal opportunities and it is motivational coach which helps people (disabled and not) to reach their goals. But she is also a singer, actress, model and reggaeton dancer and in February 2020 she showed at the “Milan Fashion Week“.
Anna, does the state help people with a disability like yours?
“In my case very little. She has always ‘given me’ the prosthesis, but it was ugly, heavy, much heavier than my right arm. Today, finally, I managed to obtain from the ASL the aesthetic and light prosthesis that I use exclusively for acting. I mean, I had to get by on my own. However, I can say that I have defeated all my demons, that I have never allowed life to end me or to make me a person other than what I am. I managed to remain myself indeed, more sunny, smiling and good as time passes. I learned to ask for help and above all to give it without expecting anything in return. I threw away all that pride I had and that was really just a mask ”.
She is a volunteer in various associations, right?
“Exactly. I volunteer at Disability Pride Network, Knock Down Barriers, Energy Family Project APS and Reach Onlus. Above all, I focus on Italian associations that assist children like me, much more numerous than in the past. I’m talking about children born with malformed limbs or even without. I bring my experience, I carry out my role as a coach. Above all, I dedicate myself to their families, who are often the real problem. I explain to the children that we must accept ourselves, to the parents that their children are fine as they are. For a mum and a dad, overcoming the trauma is not easy, because they think that with one hand they have many difficulties, and that something is missing. But the truth is, you can’t miss something you’ve never had. There are parents who try to force their children to wear prostheses even if they don’t want them, and this is not good ”.
Are there many people who prefer not to wear prostheses?
“Yes, many contact me because they would like to take them off but cannot. I was lucky because my parents weren’t over protective of me. The first years, when I went to school, I had to wear the prosthesis because of the posture, but once I got home I took it off immediately and my parents let me decide for myself. Each of us is unique and does not have to hide. In 2014, during Miss Italy, I took off the prosthesis because it bothered me, I wasn’t the one who took off and I wanted to stop hiding. Many people, on the other hand, cover the stump even as adults, because they are ashamed of it. I don’t do it, but not because I seek pity, simply because I believe that even with a single or malformed limb one can do everything and be happy. People who see me parading without prostheses contact me and say ‘But then my son can get rid of them too, if he wants!’ “.
Is not wearing the prosthesis a social stance, then?
“No, it’s just my choice. Someone prefers to wear them, someone else doesn’t. I don’t wear it for a double reason: both because I don’t like it, and to show people like me that you can also choose not to wear it, if you want. I fight for equal rights, against social discrimination, in favor of equality and equity. I am an activist on social media but I am also a speaker and I bring my testimony in the various Italian cities, taking advantage of my coaching work. My weapons are a smile and a good dose of self-irony. Once I accepted myself, I no longer had any problems with the rest of society ”.
He said people born without a limb or with malformations are on the rise. Depends on what?
“We don’t know. Even in my case they have not been able to give me explanations. It is thought that it may depend on the formation of the amniotic bridle during gestation, due to which the limb would not be able to grow. But the thesis is not entirely convincing because, in this case, the limb would have to grow anyway, even if deformed. In my day, there were very few people born with only one limb. Someone hypothesized it could depend on the side effect of a drug that was around in those years and called the problem ‘Thalidonide syndrome’. But even this thesis is not entirely convincing because it does not justify the current increase in births with malformations or stumps. Finally, some hypothesize the radiation from the Chernobyl cloud ”.
What does your coaching activity consist of?
“I do private and online sessions, I help people achieve their life goals. I am a professional sports, business and life coach. In sport I can have individual sessions with the athlete or on the field, or with the whole sports club. In the company the sessions are in team, up to 15 people. Above all I focus on the Business Coach and the Life Coach “.
What will your next projects be?
“I will have a nice full September. From 16 to 18 I will be in Livorno to participate in an inclusive sporting event as a speaker. Here I will present the science fiction short film ‘Artemisia’, by Gabriel Cash, of which I am the protagonist and in which the right to equality is affirmed, underlining that the problems are only in people’s heads. On September 24th I will participate in the Disability Pride in Rome, which will march from Piazza Colonna to Piazza del Popolo. It is a national parade in which people who seek equal rights come together. I will talk about my experience and present the short film. On October 2, however, I will be at an event in Ravenna where we talk about entrepreneurship, in this case I will be a coach and give a motivational speech “.
What message would you like to send to people with disabilities?
“That life puts obstacles to you, but you set the limits for you. Never hide, you are like this, you were born like this, you do not need to cover yourself, be autonomous with your body because each of us is unique and must not be afraid to show ourselves for what it is. I am thankful for being myself, for the person I managed to become because everything is overcome, you just need to really want it ”.