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Story Behind The Shot

Published by Diana Tula · August 25th 2013

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 She also wrote a novel, which is yet unpublished.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.

We love reading your stories and sharing them with the world. Send in your experiences and narratives behind your photos to blog@500px.com.

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Chris Works  11 months ago
Beautiful story! Thank you for sharing. :) All the best to Maria and her future endeavors!
Gokul Ananth (inactive)  11 months ago
She sure is an inspiration.
Jack Verstappen  11 months ago
Great shots and wonderfull story !
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Marco Ganz  11 months ago
Bellissime foto, giusto corredo di una storia esemplare. Grandi Maria e Andrea: più forti di 1000 uomini!
Holly Law  11 months ago
Wow, that is incredible! Humans are a pretty brilliant bunch
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jeremy beasley  11 months ago
Beautiful, inspiring story. Thanks for sharing.
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Joani C  11 months ago
You are a remarkable inspiration!
Sastha Prakash  11 months ago
Touching! Never ever give up.
Sergey Fedorov  11 months ago
Never Give up !!! True story about strong people. Only respect!
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Emile Abbott  11 months ago
Inspiring story and photographs.
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Arthur Talkins  11 months ago
wonderful story, wonderful shoot !! Well accomplished.
Annemiek van der Kuil  11 months ago
Yuriy A.  11 months ago
It's an example for the healthy people how to fight for their life
Michael Lynch  11 months ago
Beautiful photos and story !
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Darren Kelland  11 months ago
Never give up. Strength lives in your brain and your soul. Beautiful story.
Andrea Di Liddo  11 months ago
Thank you very much for the comments, i will make sure Maria reads your beautiful words, maybe she will leave a message here! :)
Andreea Dumitroiu  11 months ago
Andrea,thank you for sharing with us the beautiful story of Maria and Andrea. Take care!
Sumit Shrestha  11 months ago
Great work. Inspired.
Brian Findlay  11 months ago
I love the first B&W shot. That shot shows the love between these two. Just what i needed to start my day!
Mieke Schepens  11 months ago
I loved reading this story, thanks for sharing !
Michael Spencley  11 months ago
Restores ones faith in mankind and exemplifies the true meaning of friends. Thanks to all for telling the story and living the story.
Jill Smith  11 months ago
What an amazing and inspiring story
Jafar Rehman  11 months ago
Beautiful story,and thank you for sharing.
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Donald E. Curtis  11 months ago
Beautiful story and she is an inspiration to all of us. God Bless you for sharing.
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Frédéric LANDES  11 months ago
Thanks for sharing. Wishing many more happy moments to Maria and Andrea. Great shots from Andrea Di Liddo.
Jon Hurst  11 months ago
Truly inspiring.
jasp li  11 months ago
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jasp li  11 months ago
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Ravynwolfe Moondancer  11 months ago
You are awesome. Thanks to the both of you for sharing this.
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Monica Justesen  11 months ago
What an amazing and inspiring story, with great photos to match.
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Shane Walsh  11 months ago
Excellent article, an inspiration to many.
jasp li  11 months ago

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