Gabriele is fast! Faster than the speed of light! On his “spiderina” – his little ‘sports car’ – he runs circles around his mum and dad, Daniela and Francesco!

His will to live is so contagious no one really wants to slow him down, even on his “spiderina”! Gabriele suffers from SMA 2 (type 2 spinal muscular atrophy). However, his own experience of the disease is that it’s a special condition – not so a punishment, so to speak, as something that arouses curiosity... The disease has brought with it the sensation of speed, and the impression Gabriele has that he’s different from other kids. He might see himself as a brighter star… perhaps. After all, he has always loved astronomy, ever since he was very small. It was not easy for his parents to gain full awareness of his condition. However, with the support of other families with the same problem and the assistance of specialists at the Gemelli hospital, they seem to have turned a corner. Grateful that she can talk with her boy, Daniela hopes and prays the disease will be abated. Many families with precisely this problem have turned to Telethon. This is why we set up the Nemo clinical centres. Starting in 2007, four highly specialised clinical centres for patients with neuromuscular diseases have been operational in four locations (Milan, Rome, Messina and Arenzano). The aim of these four structures is to raise the quality of life of patients suffering from diseases such as SMA, who require clinical and psychological care on a daily basis.

The Nemo clinical centres are to be considered part of a plan of action contributing to the search for a cure for neuromuscular diseases. The plan started up in 2002 when the Telethon-Uildm award call was first announced. The first Nemo centre was opened in Milan in 2007. Then came the founding of the patients’ association, “Associazione Registro dei pazienti neuromuscolari”, in 2009.

Gabriele is fast, but so is our research! But perhaps our research is not fast enough to justify hope in a cure. If you, like our researchers, want to see Gabriele’s progress continue, then please donate! Donate now, via our site!


At present there is no final cure for spinal muscular atrophy − the disease Gabriele was born with. However, thanks to research, we can still do a great deal for kids like Gabriele.

Gabriele is a regular visitor at the Nemo clinical centre in Milan, in the Niguarda hospital. The centre was founded in order to further a global approach to care for people with neuromuscular diseases. Thanks to the care he receives on a daily basis, Gabriele has found the back-up he needs to take up the most significant challenges of his life.

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