Monica is 13 years old and has a wonderful family: dad Christian, mum Barbara and a big sister, Vanessa. She likes running, doing somersaults in the water, going to school, travelling and being with her friends. But, one day her life is turned upside down: Monica is diagnosed with a malignant bone tumour. It is a rare disease, and the road ahead is long: surgery, chemotherapy, tests, and so many sacrifices. Through all the pain, hopes and wishes, Monica never loses her smile: it is she who instils optimism in her loved ones and encourages them to look “to infinity and beyond.” But this is not just the story of Monica, it is the story of her whole family – told here by her dad – the story of relationships built on love and support, which become stronger during the most painful moments, and shield those who are most fragile. The bond with her parents and sister is added to by her bond with Sabrina (YouTube’s LaSabri, much loved by so many youngsters, and author of the note at the end of the book), who becomes a close friend to Monica. She too, with love and generosity, stays by Monica’s side until the inevitable epilogue, which arrives just three years after the discovery of her illness. Monica teaches us to see things in a new light and does so through the words of those who loved her so very much. She teaches us to love the little things, unconditional support, the beauty of knowing how to look beyond difficulties, because, after all, if you want to be happy… Just be happy!
Christian Paglia was born in Bellinzona in Switzerland, in 1970. He is father to Vanessa and Monica. He carried out his academic studies at Zurich Polytechnic and his doctorate in collaboration with Sika AG. He has worked as a post-doc researcher in the USA and as a project leader at Helbling AG in Zurich. Currently director of the SUPSI Institute for Materials and Construction, he is the author of many scientific publications on materials. For 10 years he was a member of Bellinzona town council and head of the public works and environmental department. He is a former town councillor, chairman of the Sa Sports Centre, and chairman of the section of the liberal-radical party. His books, published in Italian, include Felici Basta Esserlo, la storia di nostra figlia Monica e della sua malattia and La Sensibilità Comune.