They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but it is important to learn more about what we are looking at. Today’s story is by Andrea Di Liddo, a photographer from Rome, Italy. Sharing a touching tale of his friend, who is stronger than a thousand men.


Never Give Up

My name is Andrea and a few month ago I had a photo session with two friends of mine. One of them is a martial arts master and the other one is Maria Giulia Cotini. Maria has a disability which makes her unable to control her muscles and have uncontrolled spasms, yet she is stronger than a thousand men. The second person in the shot is Andrea De Dominicis and he is Maria’s best friend. He carried her to many places and they have been on many journeys together. I believe they met at Rome university “La Sapienza” while studying oriental languages.

Maria can’t stand nor walk, she can’t operate her wheelchair and all the things you can imagine. She has a beautiful mind, a college degree (where she studied hard) and she volunteers as an archivist at the local library. She also wrote a novel, which is yet unpublished. Currently collaborating with a famous italian writer (she won’t reveal the name), working on research together. You can tell how extraordinary she is. Once she traveled, being carried on the Andrea’s shoulder, all the way up the mountains between India and Tibet. They went to a buddhist monastery there, and many other places. Maria is mostly deaf and can barely see only with one eye.

She started practicing martial arts since she was a baby girl, as a war against her disability and as a challenge against everything. Mainly she does karate, wing chun and general oriental martial arts. As you can imagine she has a long history of “masters” who have told her to quit, but she never did. Maria is now 33 and she keeps going, never giving up.

Thanks to Andrea and Maria for sharing their story with us! If you’d like to reach out to Maria leave a comment below or contact the photographer Andrea Di Liddo, who can pass on your words. To see Andrea’s work, get in touch and follow his future uploads visit his 500px page.

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