10,000 km by motorbike for all “tumorati di Dio”
The story and the "crazy" idea of a 57-year old testicular cancer patient that has found himself taking a trip up to Ulan Bator on board his Yamaha 300
“I go motorbiking in Mongolia to give hope to all ‘tumorati di Dio’ (TN: a play on words of god-fearing and cancer sufferers)”. These may seem disrespectful words or at least bold, but spoken by a cancer patient who has tattooed his expiration date on his hand can open an interesting reflection.
He is Giovanni Parolo, 57 years from Besnate, surveyor, already the owner of a construction company but also passionate about travelling, scuba diving, paragliding and much more. After a lifetime of work, including houses built around Italy and two experiences across the border in Ivory Coast and Mauritius, in December 2013 the doctors diagnosed him with cancer at an advanced stage to a testicle” From there began an ordeal of visits, chemotherapy, hospital stays, health problems, the removal of the testicle attacked by cancer,” explains Parolo. “A little voice inside told me to give up, to live my life without doctors and medicines around. So I decided to make a first trip to Santiago de Compostela: I couldn’t do the Pilgrim, because I could not move well, and so I got on the scooter of my son, a Liberty 50, and left. I’m not a believer, I’m not Catholic: I went to Santiago convinced by my wife, more than anything to be a bit with myself and to find peace of mind. Well, when I returned, I was fine. I was happy, I was reborn. Since then I do not go by car, but only by motorbike or scooter.”
In 2015, 1st March, Parolo made another visit to a doctor in Rome: “He gave me six months to live, so I tattooed the expiration date on my hand: 1st September 2015. More than seven months have passed and I’m still here. When I look at my hand I think: ‘How lucky!’. I’m fine now, I live my life, I feel calm. ”
Not only, he has now decided to make a long journey, even complicated, although he tends to diminish it and does not want to hear about “madness”: “I go to Mongolia by motorbike, with the second hand Yamaha 300 that I got for €250. With the systems that we have today, mobile phones and various technology it is not a too reckless trip. I wanted to go alone, but perhaps my friend Florio comes with me. I have not said anything to my family (he is married and has three children, the smallest nearly eighteen, ed),” he explains, “and I think that they know, but pretend to not know. I do it because I want to feel myself, to rediscover the solitude, away from the stress, from always running, from the busy life. In Mongolia there are immense spaces, more time taken, you can see the stars in the sky. We will start at the beginning of June and we will pass through Russia, we will see magnificent places (Lake Baikal above all), without haste, meeting people. We planned to put two and half months to go and return: from Besnate to Ulan Bator there are about 10,000 km. I will take around €1,000: I want to do it with them, without spending more, making a living with the bare minimum. I carry around some bits of iron to repair the bike, a camp stove, a tent, a bit of equipment. For me and for all the ‘tumorati di Dio.'”