When deciding on which initiatives we should focus our resources, we always try to consider a wide range of factors. One of the factors that we consider most carefully deals with the potential far-reaching effects that an initiative or a project can have, at a regional as well as a national level. This includes, but is not necessarily limited to, the growth of the facilities that we collaborate with. An example of how we try to foster this growth comes from our relationship with Milan's Policlinic Hospital, where we regularly invite world-renowned experts either to consult or to perform complex surgical operations. This benefits not only the little patients whose cases are discussed or treated during these visits, but also the Hospital’s medical personnel, for whom these are opportunities to learn from the very best figures in their fields.
Over the years, our Organization has been involved in several initiatives of this sort, with Prof. Richard Azizkhan’s visits providing perhaps the most important examples. Prof. Azizkhan is in fact considered the utmost world expert on vascular malformations and esophageal problems. Cieli Azzurri contributed to bringing him to Milan on two occasions, in 2011 and 2014, by covering flight and staying expenses. In 2011, Prof. Azizkhan’s expertise gave the Policlinic’s doctors a chance to tackle a complex case involving an extremely rare malformation of the tongue, mouth and cheek in a child. In 2014, his visit coincided with the 6th "Policlinic Workshop", to which he participated with a speech regarding “esophageal atresia”. Prof. Azizkhan also had the chance of consulting on several other difficoult cases.
Other relevant examples of initiatives that had a far-reaching effect on the local territory can be found in our projects “A Surgical Cradle” and “Umberto Nicolini”, as well as in some activities that fall under our “Children Without Borders” project. The “Umberto Nicolini” project is, amongst these, perhaps the one with the most direct effect on the Italian territory as a whole. This project is named after Prof. Nicolini, a pioneering figure in the research on complications of twin monochorionic pregnancies. It has the main objective of supporting research on the diagnosis and treatment of this rare, but extremely serious, pathology. In the Milan area, the Vittore Buzzi Children's Hospital stands as the only facility investing significant resources in this important research, and thanks in part to our support, it has positioned itself over the past several years as one of the few centers in Italy that can diagnose and treat this condition.
We hope that this brief article has given you an idea of how one of our initiatives can have implications and consequences that go well beyond the immediate support that we offer on a single occasion. Our main objective is to expand the scope of our activities as much as possible, while simultaneously keeping children and their families at the center of all of our efforts. If you wish to help us reach this objective, we kindly invite you to visit the “How You Can Help Us” section of our website. For more detailed information on all of our projects, you can instead visit the “Our Mission” section.