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CRIS Research Foundation to beat cancer.

Grazzia and her SuperCris Challenge experience

One day, out of the blue, my friend Lola invited me to take part in her SuperCris challenge. Knowing her commitment to the Cris Cancer Foundation I felt instinctively compelled to accept. When I looked at what the challenge involved at first, I did not feel this was going to be a difficult challenge for me: after all, I have always eaten healthy, followed a Mediterranean diet, and exercised at least three times a week. ‘What could the SuperCris Challenge offer me that I have not already experienced?’, I kept asking myself, rather puzzled.

Soon I filled up my cupboard with all sort of whole grain ingredients (ranging from brown rice to barley to wholemeal flour), and with delicious walnuts, almonds, and seeds. The fridge suddenly turned green on the inside, bursting with fresh beans, broccoli and avocados. I got rid of all white flour, dairy, red meat and high-sugar products.

A confident smile embraced my face when I announced loudly to my two kids that Mum was going to take on the SuperCris Challenge for the whole month of May, to support the research projects that Cris Cancer Foundation was so committed to financing. I felt like a hero even before starting the challenge; we are all heroes, Lola has always said, when we fight cancer – whether we have been affected ourselves, or we know someone who is fighting it. This is what Cris is all about. We are all Cris: you, me, anyone!

My enthusiasm was so strong that my son Max could not resist getting involved himself: he asked to join the challenge as well. I was so proud of him.

So we started, Max and I, along with many other people who were with me in the SuperCris Challenge group chat. Soon we had got to know each other, and we were encouraging each other’s efforts each day of the month, applauding our daily achievements in training, and helping each other keep motivated and energised.

I also made sure that everyone at my bank knew I was doing the SuperCris Challenge: I wanted to get their support and sponsorship because I wanted to raise as much money as I could for Cris Cancer Foundation.

That was when I realised that there was more to this challenge than just a diet or an exercise schedule. It was about getting involved with Cris’s community, supporting the amazing cancer research projects that have saved kids’ lives and will save many more. I have seen it with my eyes and heard it with my ears: desperate parents, who thought they were going to lose their kids to cancer, finding in Cris hope and a chance for them to survive.

Cris truly believes – as do I – that scientific research is the most powerful way to fight cancer. It needs to be focused on each individual type of cancer, and it needs to be widely available. Unfortunately, there are many obstacles which sometimes don’t allow for this research to reach patients who could really benefit from it. This is where Cris gets involved. It is incredible how many young lives Cris has managed to save through its projects and is continuing to save.

But the most staggering thing is how amazing Cris’s community is! Being part of the challenge, and sharing my efforts and my focus with this community, has made me realise how many successful, intelligent, and determined people choose to support Cris. Let me rephrase that: they don’t just choose Cris, they are Cris!

Well, Lola was right: the challenge was all worth it and I am proud now to be Cris.



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