... and in the end I win!

By Alessandra, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 1A, Italy, January 29, 2018

first lady at Italian Golf Open for Disabled 2017

My name is Alessandra Donati I’m Italian and I play golf since 2013.

I have a rare illness, the Charcot-Marie Tooth, better known with the acronym CMT.

Playing golf is exciting, has the beauty of making contact with nature, being able to challenge the so-called standard players and beat them! The game of golf, in addition to the prejudices that still penalize it as elitist game, is truly a sport that helps overcome the barriers. I wish to see more golfing women, especially more disabled golfers.

Unfortunately, women are more reluctant to accept sports challenges, instead they should take courage and throw themselves in games because it is really exciting.

I partecipated at three Italian Open for Disabled, and one Scottish Open for Disabled in Saint Andrews (to play golf in Scotland is wonderful but so hard…).

Next year I’d like to play in another EDGA event in Europe (Sweden I hope), and in Italy of course.

There is an episode of my childhood I like to tell, and I would like to dedicate it to those who still see us as disabled people, unlucky people, and so on. My parents, in order to strengthen the muscles of my legs, have always pushed me to do sports, swimming mainly, of course, along with "regular" children. I also participated in some run competitions organized in my area. I remember my first race very well, it was 1976 and I was 10 years old. There were a lot of children, and after departure I saw that I was overtaken by everyone at a time. I did not give up, and I continued in my stunted run. Then, when I was really without energy, the public started to incite me, first one then another

'Brava, go go! Do not stop, go!!! You are the first!

You are the first!

I thought it was a miracle. Yes, it must be a miracle!

I cut the finish line with my arms raised to the sky, I was not the first , but my place was very very good.

After some years I realized that I run only one lap instead two. This episode briefly sums up the role of the disease in my life: uncomfortable yes, but at the end the benefits is more.

So I would like to say to all the disabled people that they never give up, to struggle and commit themselves to realize their dreams, and that life is always a great gift ... and I can really say that in the end I win!

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