Giuseppe Penello

- Italy

When Giuseppe Penello started a new teaching position, he thought connecting and motivating his students would be his biggest challenge.


He soon found out, however, that his greatest challenge lay ahead when he was diagnosed with rectal cancer.

Giuseppe learned that he needed surgery and felt anxious and nervous about his future. However, after chemoradiotherapy and ostomy surgery, he was ready to return to his daily activities.

“In about a year, so many things happened in my life,” Giuseppe recalled. “I got a permanent teaching position; I discovered I had this illness, I had it treated and I beat it; I didn’t lose my faith in God and in myself; I met people who gave me their friendship and love.”

Giuseppe wrote a book about his experience called, “The Penny Drops—Diary of an Ostomate.”

Wanting to encourage and inspire other ostomy patients, Giuseppe decided to write a book about his experience called, “The Penny Drops—Diary of an Ostomate.”

“In about a year, so many things happened in my life,”

“I wanted to give shape to my experience and pain, to externalize my feelings and share them with other people,” said Giuseppe. “I tried to tell my story with humor and a light touch, almost as though I’m laughing at myself and this illness.”

Giuseppe, 52, is devoted to raising awareness of ostomy surgery and currently serves as vice president of Friuli Venezia Giulia FAIS (Federation Association of Incontinence and Ostomy). In his spare time, Giuseppe enjoys gardening, cycling, bricolage, reading and taking his students on trips abroad.

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