The Maruzza Lefebvre D’Ovidio Foundation is an independent, family run charity, established by Antonio and Eugenia Lefebvre D’Ovidio following the death of Maruzza, their eldest daughter, to cancer in 1989. The Foundation’s aim is to promote excellence and equity in the provision of palliative care and support for persons affected by life-threatening or life-limiting conditions and their families, regardless of age, cultural, social and economic background.
“I named her Maria Desiderata, she was soon affectionately known as “Maruzza”. She was the first of my four children, two boys and two girls and love for them filled my life. Maternal love is absolute, all encompassing and knows no pause. She was outgoing, articulate and incisive with a good sense of humour. She had a talent for describing situations and events with passion, mimicking the people involved. She was a captivating child who enjoyed the attention of the people around her. Her life was one of brilliance, with great personal experiences and success in the family business. She was not a practising Catholic nor was she an atheist; she was simply a lay person with the moral principles of a Christian.She was aware of the greatness of the Cosmos, the mysteries of Nature, the poignant poetry of Eternity and the beauty of Humanity; the greatnesses and the failings.But she could not accept the rituals, the convention or the formalities; she refused to do anything for the sake of “appearances”. She knew the truth about her illness from the beginning, but pretended not to, so that we too could pretend. She was courageous, speaking openly with her doctors and crying in secret because she loved life. This is how she lived her life; when her last day came and she was offered the Eucharist, she said to me ‘Mamma, I am going to take Communion now’. And she did.”
extract from a work written by.........Eugenia Beck Lefebvre D’Ovidio