The Ana Carolina Díez Mahou Foundation has been working with families for almost 9 years and although we know that we cannot cure our children's diseases, any small progress, improvement or simply their smile, is enough motivation to continue working on what we do.
"The truth is that we could tell you many stories about children and families, but we are going to focus on some examples such as Paulita, a 4-year-old girl who has been with us almost since the beginning. She has a severe mitochondrial disease, needs respiratory assistance and has many muscular problems. Her parents, Jota and Miriam, are incredible and great fighters. Thanks to them and the effort of Elen, the physiotherapist, Mary the music therapist and Rocio the water therapist, who work with Jota at the Foundation, she has achieved the small milestone of taking her first steps alone. Another kid is an 11-year-old boy called Adrián who has an unnamed neuromuscular disease. He drives his electric wheelchair with incredible ease but his big dream was to play football and right from the start this wasn’t possible. Thanks to this project in collaboration with the Real Madrid Foundation, Adrián has been playing in a soccer team with other kids with different abilities and diseases since last year. Sergio is now 6 years old and has an axial hypotonia which is undergoing genetic study. He is an incredible child, like everyone we treat every day, but in his case he had a hard time focusing on the therapies he receives and the help he received greatly improved his current state. In 2018, when we started the therapy project which uses dogs, we included him in one of the groups and thanks to the dogs, we managed to focus him on what he was doing which meant that all the help he received was much more effective. Finally, Adri is a 21-year-old boy who has been with us from the beginning from when he was 12. He is very special and has been breaking down barriers and difficulties that the rest of the Foundation's younger children have benefitted from. His passion is canoeing but with the mitochondrial disease he suffers from, he was virtually banned by doctors from doing this sport. Thanks to his perseverance, effort (and that of his family), the support of the therapists of our Foundation and his trainers at the Piraguismo Aranjuez Club, he has not only achieved as he says, a return to normality and equality that he feels every time he dips the paddle in the water, but he has also recently become champion of Spain and the World. They are the small heroes of society as their patron Maria de Villota called them and day by day they teach us that there are no barriers high enough to stop the desire to live".
These cases are not unique. Everyone in our Foundation, all the physiotherapists, doctors, psychologists, therapists and other professionals and also the volunteers work relentlessly, continuously, free and on personalised treatment every single day to improve the quality of life.
The Foundation serves more than 200 children aged between 0 and 18 years who mainly suffer from mitochondrial and neuromuscular diseases, in addition to other rare and undiagnosed diseases. They help them with physiotherapy services, water therapy, psychological care, medical care, music therapy, dog therapy, genetic counselling, legal advice, leisure activities, training and research workshops, to name but a few of the assistance and activities provided.
At Sé Solidario (Be Charitable) we support the Ana Carolina Díez Mahou Foundation to finance all the treatments of the various types of therapies that make up the First Star Program, which clearly improve day-to-day lives. Together we can help Lorena and many other children like her to make the best of their abilities in order to live full and independent lives.