Fondazione Tommasino Bacciotti
A non-profit public benefit organization
ORIGINS, PAST AND PRESENT PROJECTS
Tommaso Bacciotti was afflicted with a rare form of brain tumor, the pineal-blastoma.
It was particularly aggressive, and had appeared when he was only 9 months old.
“Tommasino” went through intensive chemotherapy treatments at the Meyer Hospital in Florence, and a few neurosurgical interventions, both in this hospital and abroad, which allowed to reduce the tumor and keep it under control for just about a year. Until December 19th 1999, when he passed away.
Moved by such great loss, his parents, Barbara and Paolo, decided to funnel the many donations collected after Tommaso’s death to a permanent endowment, creating a non-profit organization named after him, devoted to research and treatment of children’s tumors, and to assistance towards families which are facing this difficult challenge.
An intense experience as this one doesn’t happen often and leaves a distinct trace. Tommasino was, as all children, full of energy and desire to live: his parents do not want to lose his spirit. They feel that this incredibly positive force should bring together other sensitive people concerned about the problem and willing to give their contribution.
Tommasino has been an amazing beautiful presence. The best response ever to the departure of a dear one is to draw energy from him. And to be constructive instead of being just commiserative and sympathetic.
For this reason his parents have established a charitable foundation, raising funds at the beginning for research and assistance projects directed to the Department of Onco-hematology of the Meyer Hospital, and to provide for medical equipment.
For over 18 years now the non-profit Tommasino Bacciotti Foundation has cooperated with the Meyer Hospital, supporting medical and scientific research projects with more than 950.000€, and undertaking the Hospitality to Families Project. Since 2010 the Foundation offers lodging near the hospital at no cost to family members of little patients who are undergoing long-term cancer treatment. This solution allows families to stay together during the whole medical care process.
Last December the 20th furnished apartment has been inaugurated: the House of Lungarno Ferrucci 49. The Foundation bears all costs of rents and utilities. Food companies supporting our project provide monthly the hosted families with various kind of groceries.
In 2015 the Foundation was accredited by the Meyer Hospital as the sole agent for long-term housing for families with a child going through cancer care. To date the Foundation is able to host up to 90 guests: that makes over 32.800 free nights in a year. The correspondent amount paid by all these families for a medium level hotel accommodation in a year would be about 980.000€.
Moreover the Foundation offers free B&B and hotel lodging for those families who come to Florence for quick check ups and don’t fit in the hospital’s on-site accommodation program.
Besides the economic support, the Foundation welcomes families who are enduring such a delicate experience through its representatives and volunteers: a constant and helpful presence during their stay to meet their needs throughout the child’s care program.
In 2017 two new projects started: one engages children in social and creative activities in play-rooms, the other focuses on psychological support also for the adult caregivers.
A specialized voluntary guide gives tours of Florence to the families, and volunteers provide for special needs mobility and transportation. Every month on the premises of the Misericordia (a charitable medical organization) of Quinto the Foundation arranges social evenings for the guests, serving dinner and providing entertainment. The purpose is to recreate “normal” situations which may help children and adults to cope with the illness and find the indispensable strength and spirit to defeat it.
Thanks to the collaboration with the Don Gnocchi Foundation, the Councillorship for Health care of the Tuscan Region and the Meyer Hospital, on October 27th 2017 the new Department of Pediatric Rehabilitation has opened at the “Don Carlo Gnocchi” IRCCS (a Research Hospital) of Florence.
Our Foundation took care of setting the play area, the department’s corridors and the “Tommasino Garden”, aiming to lighten the burdens of the young patients inside the facility. This important and heart-felt project allowed us to stand closer to the ill children and their families, letting them continue their care program in our Region, in our city and further in our Houses.
Besides the Hospitality Project, the Foundation funds a research grant for addressing pediatric oncological diseases in the rehabilitation phase.
Our goal for 2018 is to carry on our program oriented to serve families with children receiving long-term therapies at the Meyer Hospital, improving our current facilities and laying the groundwork for increasing access to free lodging in other apartments.