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Sara Grippo
Photo by Klaus Dell'Orto / Melloblocco 2014
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Sara Grippo, This isn't a dream


Italian climber Sara Grippo shares her life experience in this short film This isn't a dream.

Sara Grippo's life story leaves a mark. With climbing as a metaphor for her daily battle, this is an ode to life that she dedicates to all of us.

I discovered I had this illness six years ago. Chronic immune complex glomerulonephritis. One fine day my antibodies decided to attack my kidneys and destroy them, and so I started dialysis three days a week.

Thanks to an operation a vein and artery in my left arm were bound together, the artery now flows at the surface and needles can be inserted directly to withdraw a greater amount of blood, which then passes into the filter machine that removes the waste before giving it back to me.

Being catapulted into this world was frightening. I didn't feel ready, was convinced that at my age I had other things to live for. That day a war started that has transformed into acceptance and respect for this evil. I believe that an ill body results in a more conscious mind and a stronger, more tenacious soul. This coexistence will last a lifetime. It will accompany me forever.

In the future I will need a kidney transplant, even though I know that one day I will return to dialysis and need another transplant. That's how things stand; a quest for a constant and difficult balance, in life, as in climbing.

The right holds to cling on to are positive thoughts and yoga - that has been fundamental for me - while my feet that help bear my weight are my roots, my family and friends. Without the right footholds you make no progress, just like without all the marvelous people I'm surrounded by I wouldn't make it.

I believe I was given such an enormous challenge in life because I'm capable of dealing with it. Like a hard climb at your limit, with a hard boulder start, followed by long stamina and endurance. And at the end, just when you think you've almost done it, there's another finishing boulder on tiny crimps, almost too small to hold, with the quickdraw a long, long way down. Countless tries and falls, but then one day you free it all.

All these tests that life holds in store, always new, often at your limit. And you find out about yourself, get to know yourself better, recognise yourself as being different from who you originally thought you were. You find the strength to fight, the strength you didn't think you had, that instead was there, hidden away somewhere and when you finally dig it out it's stronger than you could ever imagine.

Strange emotions, completely different sentiments, huge fears, and everything changes. You enjoy the air passing through your nostrils as you breathe, the sun that warms you.You reconsider everything, absolutely everything. No longer take things for granted, not everything is necessarily yours, as we sometimes think.

I believe we are the architects of our own existence, and that this depends on the line of thought we wish to follow. I have chosen to ignore dialysis, transplant, medicine and dialysis all over again. They're there, will always be a part of me throughout my life. I accept this, but don't follow it. Instead I follow another line of thought. I'm are strong and fortunate for what life is offering me. And whatever it gives me, I will deal with it with grit and determination.

My name is Sara Grippo, I'm 30 years old and live in Turin.





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