I was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s disease twelve years ago. It’s an illness that reduces your ability to move freely but I refuse to let that limit me. The human body is an important way that we express ourselves and for me, dance is the ultimate art form. A few years ago, I started going to dance classes with AIGP (Associazione Italiana Giovani Parkinsoniani) and with people I met there, we formed a group called ‘Dance Well’ for people living with Parkinson’s disease. Our slogan is ‘Think with the body and feel with the brain’. Stress, tiredness and pressure all build up over time, and to dance is to free yourself from that and feel a connection with your body.
About four years ago, I suggested to the people I’d met through the association that we could raise money by doing a sponsored walk. I invited many of my Colt colleagues to come along. It was such a great success that we’ve done one every year since. The discussions we have on the walks are like therapy sessions. Parkinson’s is an invisible illness so it’s important to raise awareness of the impact it has and how you can deal with it. Everyone has problems, so we need to support each other – I’ve had incredible support from Colt, particularly in helping me stay at work for as long as possible. Even though sometimes I feel like falling down, thanks to my colleagues in Colt I never feel like I’m alone. I also put a lot of energy and focus into maintaining a positive mindset. I’d like to think that I have become a good example of positive thinking. Even though something bad has happened to me, I want it to be useful for others.
Massimiliano Iachini | Lead Engineer, Service Delivery | Italy