Nadia Toffa, mother Margherita: “The pain does not go away, but you live better by helping others”

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Margherita has a welcoming voice, a calm but gritty tone and a great desire to live. Mom of Nadia Toffathe reporter de Hyenas disappeared shortly before the age of 40 in 2019, Ms. Rebuffoni has inexhaustible energy and enormous faith. Only in this way did she find the strength to create, a few months after the death of her daughter from brain cancer, the Nadia Toffa Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports research, especially in the oncology field. With eight active projects, these days he is focusing on DOna, a campaign to purchase an advanced machinery for the oncological neurology department of the Brescia Civic Hospitals. The ultrasound and neuronavigator has a cost of 183 thousand euros and is used to identify neurological neoplasms, crucial for prevention and early diagnosis.

Mrs. Margherita, the goal of reaching this figure by the end of June is ambitious, but not impossible.
“From the experience of Nadia and my sister, who died at the age of 21, I realized that there is a lack of funds for research, therefore allowing not only to locate a cancer in a better way during the operation but to diagnose it before it is expand too much is essential. Many realities have understood this, some in the area, such as the supermarket which with a jar near the checkouts collected 30 thousand euros, others from the entertainment world. Jovanotti, for example, auctioned a guitar from the Seventies and one person bought it for 21,000 euros ».

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What did Nadia say about it?
“He asked me to do what I could. I remember the cries of children in the cancer ward in the rooms next to her. She was distressed because she imagined the pain of explaining the disease to them and so with my husband, her two sisters and my three grandchildren we run the Foundation in her name. Also for this reason you have been writing incessantly in the last few months ».

He has published various books that collect his thoughts. Will there be others?
“We have at least 250 texts by Nadia that we will publish in the future. The last book, I will wait for you all my life, came out the day before the pandemic broke out and this did not allow me to tell it and take it around Italy. My heart was crying, but I’m happy that it will be relaunched with a new cover ».

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How did he put those thoughts on paper?
“Especially in the last three months he spent nights writing and I still seem to see his fingers moving fast on the telephone keypad. As soon as I finished the text he would read it aloud to me and say: “Remember to use it for a good purpose” ».

Has she always been so generous and attentive to others?
“Absolutely. In elementary school she attended a school with hearing impaired pupils, renowned everywhere for the approach that allowed the children to take them even to graduation. I remember that she was always trying to figure out how to help those who were weaker. She said to me: “Mom, I always run, perhaps because I will not be able to live much. I don’t want to get married or have children, my greatest love is destined to help others “. And she always invited me to forgive: “Sometimes – she repeated – whoever hurts is because he is ill”. When she however she realized that she was in bad faith she certainly did not send them to say ».

And his words continue to have an echo today. When did she understand this?
“In the three days of the funeral parlor: there were people in wheelchairs, even sick ones, as well as young people who didn’t want to leave the theater to stay close to them. I hugged them all, which partially eased the pain in those light-headed moments. I did not expect. I knew she was loved, sure, but some words I can’t forget them. They told me: “Nadia was pure, sincere, she said things to her face” ».

What do you remember about the period before his death?
“For the past two years I have always been close to her, at all times, and I am grateful to her for letting me do that. I was the only one. Despite the terrible illness, she told me about her life, she told me everything and made me stronger with her example of her. We went everywhere together, to sing or to paint ».

He was with her too on the set de Hyenas?
“Yes, but she preferred me to be behind the scenes and not in the audience (she would have been too excited, she said), but she advised me to be on my guard and not talk because I’m naive and the world of entertainment is not all roses. At the time, she had already involved her colleagues in charitable causes on her social networks, from Alessia Marcuzzi to Simona Ventura, from Omar Pedrini to Eros Ramazzotti ».

There is no single way to deal with loss. There are those who spend a lot of time near the grave of their loved one in the cemetery and there are those who do not even want to hear about it. What helped her?
“I don’t go to the cemetery – a place that already distressed me when my sister died – because Nadia is at home with me. She has asked to be cremated, so she is always close. We’ve actually had a couple of burglaries at home and I’m afraid they’ll take it away from me, so sometimes I hide the urn. I have dreamed of her several times and she told me: “I am alive and I am close to you”. So I cuddle her every morning, put her picture on her heart and talk to her with the nicknames I used as a child and that she liked so much. All this heartens me ».

Did the Foundation help you think about the future?
«It helped me not to fall into depression and in fact the first year after Nadia’s death I went everywhere to talk about her for fundraising and this helped me to overcome the desperation. I wish mothers knew that their children are alive and, as a believer, I think they are in a more beautiful place. The Lord wanted these souls for himself because they were good. I’m not saying that by thinking about these things the pain vanishes, but you live better when you help others ».

How was the foundation of the Foundation?
“For two years we have suffered tribulations from the prefecture for all the checks, but we are ordinary people, retirees. When they ascertained it, they also gave us the status of a non-profit organization and allowed us to give you the five per thousand “.

Nadia has devoted herself to the service of others, is it the same for her other two daughters?
“Yes, one is a teacher (like me) and one is a lawyer, but I remember Nadia as a child with her video camera around the house. She had bought it with her savings and interviewed all of her relatives, as well as always filming our family vacations. She wanted to do investigations and in third grade she made her classmates laugh by imitating Lilli Gruber. She remained smiling until the end but she was burdened by not having the energy to carry out the inquiries. She always found things to do, she had an incredible will to live, even when the evil was reborn after various operations. She told me that by praying the pain would pass and so it was ».

How?
“In the last few days she noticed that Silvia, her sister, was sleeping too much and she told me she knew she was pregnant, but I didn’t mind because she had wanted a pregnancy for a long time but it never came. Only after her death did we discover that she was right about her and after seven months Alba Nadia was born, a peperino who is now 26 months old. She is a little Nadia at home, our miracle ».

Other stories of Vanity Fair that may interest you:

Mannarino: “I, Caravaggio of music”

Mannarino’s vocabulary

Francesco Renga: “The children look at us”

Source: Vanity Fair

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