“I TELL YOU HOW MAKE TO CARE WAS BORN AND HOW EVERYONE CAN HELP THE MOST FRAGILE PEOPLE”.
Interview with Fabio Gorrasi, initiator and inspiration behind Make to Care, the Sanofi program in collaboration with Maker Faire Rome to find solutions that improve the lives of chronic patients and their carers
No less than 450 projects in 6 years, including 50 finalists and 10 winners. A virtuous circle that has brought together hospitals and university research centres, patients, caregivers and makers. They are united by the common thread of solidarity and the desire to put the patient at the centre of innovation. All this and much more is MAKE to CARE, the contest promoted by Sanofi (in collaboration with the association Uniamo) and protagonist at Maker Faire Rome since 2016.
In this sixth edition, the initiative will once again bring ten projects to the 2021 Maker Faire. The projects will be presented to the public, who will be able to vote for them directly, through Sanofi Italia’s Instagram page. On this page, the finalist projects of the 2021 edition
Fabio Gorrasi, maker for love
“I’ll tell you how Make to Care was born”. Interview with Fabio Gorrasi is a strong idea with an equally strong story behind it. Fabio Gorrasi, 42, is a skilled worker from Salerno who now lives and works in the province of Taranto in Puglia. His daughter Roberta suffers from Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a rare neurodegenerative disease.
Roberta needed a brace to move around, but the one available was not suitable. Fabio, more maker than many makers, started working on projects, ideas, prototypes and finally found the solution he was looking for for his Roberta.
“I did it to see the joy in my daughter’s eyes” he said. “It is not only medicine that can make a patient heal, but also daily well-being.” After being a member of the jury, Fabio will chair the contest this year. Fabio told us his story and the deep meaning of Make To Care.
Fabio, how did MAKEtoCARE come about?
“My daughter Roberta has a rare disease. The “Savera” brace (also made by a parent) that we had been provided with bothered her, she felt blocked. So I decided to design ‘my’ brace, tailored to Roberta’s needs. I started working on the design (what and how I wanted it, what was important and what it had to be able to do), setting myself objectives, a real step-by-step process.
What were your priorities in making the brace?
“The brace had to have a certain lightness and flexibility. The Savera brace is all steel, but Roberta couldn’t move with it and didn’t even want to wear it”.
How did you solve it?
“I started studying the movements of the joint. I wanted to understand how to make the brace more flexible. Eventually I turned the drawings over to a turner and we started making the first aluminium parts, but it wasn’t working. Titanium was too expensive in terms of machining. I needed an alloy that was light and strong. Which I then found.
Did you also contact a professor at Sant’Anna in Pisa to help you become a maker?
“Yes, he studied the articulation and where the most vulnerable points of the project were.
Once Roberta’s problems were solved, you thought your example could be of help to others.
“Sanofi, with whom I came into contact thanks to the Uniamo association, took care of it’.
MAKE to CARE’s goal is to seek innovative solutions, putting the patient and the caregiver at the centre.
“Everyone can become a Maker to Care, the important thing is to understand that innovation can really make a difference in supporting people in need.”
The 2021 edition of MAKE to CARE
Fabio, this year you are chairing the MAKE to CARE jury.
“Yes, in previous years I was one of the members of the group that selected the projects.
In these six editions there have been more than 450 projects presented.
“They have all been projects that have a goal: to help a person with a disability. What counts is the functionality of the project, not its excellence”.
MAKE to CARE is a contest, but also a report and a roadshow. Did you think all this would come about?
“I hoped so. MAKEtoCARE must become bigger and bigger because it has given and is giving a cue for innovation to help the most fragile people”.
Discover all the finalist projects of the 2021 edition of Make to Care. Sanofi Italia looks forward to seeing you at Maker Faire Rome 2021 from 8 to 10 October.