Shoes to go further, in spite of the disease. This is the core of the awareness campaign “The SMeakers – the shoes of those who never stop” promoted by Sanofi in collaboration with AISM – Italian Multiple Sclerosis Association. Launched on the occasion of the Milano Fashion Week, these special sneakers, emblem of sporting activity, are handcrafted in Italy and completely handwritten with the stories of those who live with multiple sclerosis every day. Positive stories, which express a life on the move beyond illness and which encourage everyone not to stop and try to overcome their limits, transforming them into opportunities for growth and change.
Three stories collected by The SMeakers, exemplifying what it means for a person living with multiple sclerosis to move forward, set goals – whether small or large – and overcome them. Like Rachel, national vice president of AISM, who thanks to multiple sclerosis has learned to tolerate the unpredictability of life and to set ambitious goals, such as a trip to France alone with 2 crutches and many dreams. Or Federico, FISM doctor and researcher, who found in positive relationships with others the strength to react even to the hardest moments in life with the disease. In the end Cristina, AISM volunteer, who after an initial dark period of loneliness and depression decided to tackle the disease on the right foot in search of a new balance: she swam the Strait of Messina and overcame her greatest fear, that of becoming mom.
The fil rouge that binds the three stories is the movement, real and symbolic, that multiple sclerosis, a neurovegetative disease of the central nervous system that affects about 130,000 people in Italy, mainly women, can progressively compromise, not only from the physical point of view – with limitations of mobility, balance and coordination – but also from the cognitive point of view with problems of concentration, memory and fatigue.
“Physical activity, if done continuously, can help the person with MS to maintain and improve balance, mobility, coordination but also to improve cognitive performance with positive effects on emotional control, mood and ‘self-esteem“He declares Roberta Amadeo, Past President AISM and Handbike champion. “Projects like The SMeakers therefore send an important message because on the one hand they reiterate that sport is an important factor in improving the patient’s quality of life, on the other they try to raise awareness with an innovative language and style, as close as possible to people with empathy and respect of individual experiences.”
The SMeakers project, which has Giorgia Surina and Ilaria Vita (@pepitepertutti) as testimonials, will live on social networks thanks to the hashtag #PortamiInGiro, which will invite followers to come Saturday 25 September from 10 to 18 at the Tenoha Pop Up Space in via Vigevano 18, photograph the shoes and share them on their profiles. Even those who will not be in Milan will still be able to contribute to the campaign: simply photograph your shoes, apply the “smeakers” stickers found in the Instagram gallery and share the photo – through posts or stories – on your profiles, inviting your own followers to do the same, in a real chain of solidarity and awareness on Multiple Sclerosis. Furthermore, from 25 September it will be possible to view and share the video of the project and the stories of the protagonists on the site Smeakers.it and on the social channels of Sanofi Italia.
“With The SMeakers we confirm our commitment alongside AISM to improve the knowledge and awareness of multiple sclerosis and the experience of the people affected by it, ” declares Marcello Cattani, President and CEO of Sanofi Italia. “These shoes and the exciting stories they tell have the strength to carry around a precious message to thousands of people: life doesn’t stop with a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. Thanks to scientific research, increasingly innovative drugs, early diagnosis and the help of their family and social unit, people with MS can manage to maintain or regain a good quality of life. “
The SMeakers Project took shape thanks to the involvement of the Marche-based Alberto Monti, an artisan for more than 30 years in the sector, who makes bespoke shoes with entirely hand-made workmanship, and by the calligrapher and artist Chiara Riva, who has obtained several professional awards. in his field and collaborated with Italian and international professionals. At the end of the project, the three shoes will be available to AISM for its institutional activities.