“It all began in the living room, during an autumn afternoon eight years ago. My son Ascanio, who is now nearly ten years old, didn’t feel any discomfort. Yet cancer had already established residence in his body. We did some tests and in a week the diagnosis arrived: my son had Wilms’ nephroblastoma, a malignant tumor of embryonic origin that in nine out of ten cases develops sporadically.
From that moment on Ascanio was one of those nine children who, despite having recently learned to walk, had a wall in front of them to climb: in fact, both his kidneys had been affected by the disease, still, a few months and would be “eaten”. The road to get to today has been long and hard. He faced 13 anesthesia and 43 chemotherapy sessions, but he never underwent dialysis and now lives the same life as all children his age. He attends the fourth grade, and his younger brother Adriano is helping him to grow up serene. Together they play, sometimes they fight (between children and especially between brothers is normal!), and they have been practicing BJJ for four years.
We have known this discipline thanks to Professor Renato Rodrigues, who immediately welcomed us with great affection in the great Gracie Barra family. Month after month Ascanio and Adriano are passionate and fond of their teacher, in which today they see, in addition to a guide in the practice of the BJJ, an older brother. Thanks to this discipline Ascanio is learning to overcome the difficulties that life has put before him since childhood, with courage, determination and willpower, without ever surrendering even in the face of obstacles that seem insurmountable.
My wife and I put great trust in Professor Rodrigues, allowing him to guide our two children on this path (of which we are still a few steps from the beginning): we can say that never choice was more apt! Today we thank him with all our heart for the extraordinary work he is doing alongside our children: seeing them engaged in every lesson with so much enthusiasm and joy is a show that every time, thinking back to our recent past, fills us with emotion and moves us.
We therefore wish to thank Professor Rodrigues in a special way, together with all the extraordinary family of which he has joyfully made us a part!”