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Tony Moggio’s extraordinary journey

Tony Moggio's extraordinary journey
Tony Moggio

The latest French cinematic phenomenon, whose red carpet ascent sparked much discussion at the 2024 Cannes Film Festival, the astonishing A Little something extra, directed by Artus, continues to dominate the French box office for the fourth consecutive week, with an impressive total of 4.56 million admissions to date. This undeniable success makes it the most popular film of the year in the land of baguettes, surpassing even the blockbuster Dune 2, which has 4.10 million admissions. What makes this triumph even more remarkable is the fact that many of the film’s actors are affected by various forms of disabilities. This success demonstrates that it is unfair to reduce individuals to their disabilities, as they are capable of achieving great things. This reality is illustrated by the inspiring story of Tony Moggio, a 32-year-old Italian native who has been paraplegic since May 26, 2024. “Today I may not walk anymore, but I’m still moving forward,” he declares, a statement that resonates with his fighting spirit. Failures are part of his story, whether they occurred before or after his accident, but he never lets them defeat him.

His sporting journey began in his early childhood in judo, where he excelled for 14 years. Originally from Toulouse, he pursued this individual sport before feeling a longing for the camaraderie and team spirit. His three-year military service confirmed this need for camaraderie and convivial values. This led him to rugby, where he played for 7 years. However, his life took a dramatic turn during a rugby match. That day, Tony, who wasn’t supposed to play, replaced one of his absent teammates. Fifteen minutes into the game, as the scrums were numerous and intense, one of his partners suddenly got up, breaking the scrum. Tony found himself compressed by the weight of all the players until he heard a sinister crack on his right side and lost all sensation in his body before fainting. The firefighters arrived quickly, but it was already too late to prevent the damage. The operation at the hospital and the subsequent rehabilitation phase plunged Tony into a new world, that of disability. At first, he asked few questions, but he quickly realized that he was a prisoner of his own body. The evasive answers from those around him reinforced this sense of isolation. Even his physiotherapist, after the operation, seemed to dodge the difficult questions. But one day, Tony confronts a replacement and demands the truth. The words are hard to hear: “You won’t walk anymore.” This brutal revelation plunges him into deep sadness, but it’s also the beginning of his journey towards acceptance.

Despite the many obstacles in his path, Tony refuses to be defeated. He draws strength from his past experiences, particularly in judo and the army, where he learned the importance of resilience and determination. Even when he finds himself alone facing machines in the hospital, he organizes himself to structure his days and find a semblance of normalcy in this new reality. The Toulouse native’s accident, though devastating, also opens up new perspectives for him. He realizes that disability does not define him and that he can still accomplish great things, even though he has lost some of his mobility and is now confined to a wheelchair. He chooses to push his physical and mental limits by setting himself sports challenges and plans to cross the Gulf of Saint-Tropez using only the strength of his arms. This bold venture, which required a year and a half of preparation, was successful on July 19, 2019. For three and a half hours, Tony fought against the waves and currents. An effort that was applauded by his peers, including his godfather, the famous Olympic gold medalist swimmer Florent Manaudou, who called this feat extraordinary.

However, the Toulouse native doesn’t stop there: his love for sports has driven him to take on new challenges, such as skiing down the largest off-piste slope in Chamonix. Despite the inherent difficulties of his condition, the jolts of the rugged terrain that weakened him, and the freezing temperatures, he managed to descend the Vallée Blanche, 24 kilometers long, with assistance. Beyond his sporting exploits, Tony also finds happiness in his personal life. His four-year-old son Gianni is a constant source of joy and inspiration.

“It was complicated to have a child at first. We had to go through protocols that didn’t work, with repeated failures for four years. It was difficult for my wife and me. I will always remember when the laboratory director told me that I would never be able to have a child without resorting to sperm donation or adoption. It was the second time I cried because of my disability because I thought it was because of me that we couldn’t become parents. I would have been happy to adopt a child and give him all my love, but I wanted a biological child. And then one day, my wife didn’t feel well, she was vomiting, but it had happened before, so I thought it was nothing. She took a pregnancy test, she put it on the kitchen table. I couldn’t believe it. It was fabulous! When we were told that our child was viable, it was the happiest day of my life! He’s growing up, he understands that dad has a problem but he doesn’t care because we manage to have fun together. I had fears, I wondered if I would be able to have authority, but it’s going well. I created a system to help me hold a bottle. He listens to me well, even more than my wife (laughs).”

In the end, Tony Moggio’s story illustrates the determination of a man not to let his disability dictate his life. Through his narrative, Toombow Kids aims to inspire paraplegic children to follow his example and never be defeated by obstacles. So don’t wait any longer and visit his Instagram account tony_moggio.

Hello to all parents and children around the world, as you can see, Toombow the train thinks of everyone. In this section, we will share the stories of some mothers and fathers, parents who are going through difficult times because of a disabled or sick child. Thanks to the love for their child, they keep hope, so come and discover their daily life, their joys and sorrows. Who knows, maybe it could help you, or give you ideas. This is Toombow the choo choo train !