In summer 1988 something totally unforeseen happened. While playing tennis one day, Chiara Luce experiences a very sharp pain in her shoulder. At first she did not take much notice and neither does her doctor. However, since the pain persists, the doctor carried out further tests. The verdict: osteogenic sarcoma – one of the most serious and painful forms of cancer and it has already started spreading.
In February 1989, Chiara Luce underwent her first surgery.
On hearing this news, Chiara Luce, after a moment’s silence, accepted the outcome courageously, without tears or rebellion. “I’m young. I’m sure I’ll make it,” she says.
In June 1989, Chiara Luce underwent a secondo surgery. This time, hopes were slim.
She is admitted to hospital many times and her kindness and unselfishness really stand out. Setting aside her own need to rest, she spent time walking around the wards with a drug-dependent girl suffering from serious depression. This meant getting out of bed despite the pain caused by the huge growth on her spine. “I’ll have time to rest later,” she used to say.
While Chiara Luce was in hospital, young and adult friends of the Focolare Movement used to take turns in hospital in order to give her support. The treatment was painful and she wanted to know every detail of her illness. For each new, painful surprise, her offering was firm: “For you, Jesus, if you want it, I want it too!”