Ciao, my name is Marco.
I’m Italian and I always say that I was born with two particular signs: my disease and my passion for the sport.
After only one week of life, I almost died from severe urinary reflux.
I wasn’t eating, I was bloated and almost unconscious and for such a small child the situation was really difficult. The doctors managed to save me and when I was only two months old, I had my first operation to correct my urinary tract but my kidney were already compromised.
When I was 5 years old I started swimming. But at 7 I met my greatest passion: basketball.
Until 15 years I grew up almost a normal child. But it was at that age a doctor told me that I could no longer participate in sports.
That was the first time that I really felt different from the others.
Even if I could no longer take part in official competitions, I doubled my training, started swimming again, and also started playing tennis and skating. Sports helped me to cope with my illness.
In 2010 my kidneys failed. Fortunately, I had only 10 months of dialysis and on September 17, 2011 I received the gift of a new kidney.
Since then, life has started again in a wonderful way. I have done so many things.
Now, I’m a player in the Italian National volley transplant team ( @aned_pallavolo )and I want spread the message of the importance of organ donation and of transplants.
I have so many new transplant friends thanks to the World Transplant Games.
I was even able to return to play in Italian federal competition as a volleyball player. In 2017 in Malaga (Spain) and 2019 in Newcastle (UK).
In Malaga, I won two bronze medals, one with volleyball National transplant team, and one as coach of the basketball national transplant team.
In Newcastle, I won 2 medals as a player. One gold with volleyball and one bronze with basketball.
But for me, the games are the occasion to meet all my friends from all over the world 🙂
In short, transplant is life!