“Give a family man a fighting chance”: the story of Mauro Di Francesco

TORONTO – Their dream was to come to Canada and build a better future for their family. And they were succeeding, despite the enormous sacrifices required of those who can only rely on their own strength. They were succeeding until something, as sometimes happens, interrupted that already difficult path to happiness. 

This is the story of Mauro Di Francesco, 53 years old, and Livia Sindilaru, 42. He is Italian, she is Romanian, in 2016 they decided to leave the beautiful town Italian of Silvi Marina (Teramo, Abruzzo) on the Adriatic coast to try the adventure in Canada.

He, is an established barber: he started when he was 15, he has a lot of experience and is ready to make the big leap and she is ready to follow him everywhere with their 12 year old daughter and two twins on the way. Their courage takes them to Toronto, to be precise to North York, where Mauro immediately began his barber business, enjoying enormous success thanks to his skill and his sweet and kind character. Customers love him.

She, pregnant, gave birth to twins on January 29, 2017 and then she began working as a waitress in a restaurant chain, to help her husband. But then the pandemic arrives and they both lose their jobs. They make do as they can and when Covid-19 finally loosens its grip, they start working again.

And when everything seems to be going well, in February of this year, just a few days before their twentieth wedding anniversary, something you don’t expect arrives: Mauro starts to feel ill, he continues to work but has a lot of pain all that don’t give him a break. In the end, he decides to be examined and the diagnosis is dramatic: cancer. A glioblastoma, which affects the brain and which requires a delicate surgical operation to which Mauro is immediately subjected. But the prognosis is not positive.

The world is collapsing around me” Livia told us, desperately, after telling us their story.

And, in addition to the pain for Mauro’s conditions, there is also the economic problem which is not insignificant, with three children, in a foreign country where after seven and a half years of hard work and taxes paid, both Mauro and Livia are still without rights, having so far been unable to obtain permanent residence, with all the consequences of the case for a family with three children in a situation of great difficulty.

Mauro’s friends – they are a lot: his regular customers were four hundred – therefore decided to start a fundraising to help him, Livia and their children. “Please help us with any donation you can make – says Antonio, one of the friends who started the fundraising on the GoFundMe online platform –: every little help will give a good family man the chance to continue fighting”.

The fundraising is underway on this web page: https://gofund.me/d1b79d44

In the photo above, Mauro and Livia in Toronto