Alessia Refolo, born in 1990, is originally from Ivrea in the province of Turin. As a child she suffered from neuroblastoma, a very aggressive childhood tumour for which there is a low survival rate. Alessia managed to beat it, albeit with severe consequences, as she lost her eyesight irreversibly due to the drugs she took. But the blow did not knock her down, far from it. It was at this moment that she coined her own motto, which would stay with her forever: “Se vuoi, puoi” (If you want, you can). She wanted to finish her secondary studies and succeeded, recording her classes on an mp3 player. She wanted to be independent and soon moved out of home. She wanted to find a challenging job and was hired by the Monte dei Paschi di Siena bank branch in her city. But above all, she wanted to spread her message of strength and positivity to the world. For this reason she founded a social initiative called, of course, “Se vuoi puoi”. Through it she gives talks and consultations almost every day, in which she shows all her motivational charisma.
This charisma has also grown thanks to the many sports she plays daily. The one that is closest to her heart is climbing, a speciality in which she won the Paralympic world title in 2014. But then there is also water skiing, where she won gold at the Paralympic European Championships in 2018, as well as dance, horse riding and athletics, where she won the silver medal in the 1500 metres at the Italian Championships in 2020. Thanks to Obiettivo3 she discovered cycling, in tandem with Giorgia Bonetti, and here too she was successful, winning the Italian Championships in 2021. In 2019 she also wrote an autobiographical novel: “Se vuoi, puoi. Una vita al là del buio” [If you want, you can. A life beyond the darkness].