The Little Doctor

With sensitivity and openness, Graziela Gilioli demystifies the stigma of serious illness and major losses.

“The Little Doctor” is a real story, a poignant book that touches us deeply. 

Before our very eyes, walking down the very same streets, while we lead our common, ordinary lives, other stories take place, in quite a different tone.

An unexpected fact altered the predictable rhythm of Alexandre’s life, at age 12. A new reality imposed itself, and lent a completely different dimension to what there was to dream, to know, and live through.

Based on the experience felt as a mother, the author invites us, readers, to share moments of joy and sorrow that involve and touch us, precisely because of the particular and truthful way with which she tells her story. “Little Doctor” is a true story, a remarkable, deeply moving book. With utmost sensitivity and frankness, Graziela Gilioli de-mystifies the stigma of serious diseases, and great losses.

In the book, the author talks about the period of suffering and anguish she experienced with her oldest son, Marcelo, and her  youngest son Alexandre. The author tells us how, both mother and sons, found a new, true sense to life.

Alexandre lived his life with wisdom, and would have been a doctor, were it not for the fate that took him to another world. Among the many teachings that this little doctor left us, one is particularly worth mentioning a good doctor listens to a patient, sometimes with his ears, sometimes with his eyes – but always with a heart.



The spectacular explosion of a supernova star produces about the same amount of energy as one hundred billion suns, and travels millions of years until we, here on Earth, become aware of it. In stark contrast with the death of a supernova, that of my son Alexandre was silent, quiet and was felt immediately by those around him.

Since then, many days have gone by with my holding back the tears, dodging my sadness, deceiving my longing for him. All these days have passed without the sound of his voice, without the image of his face, without the warmth of his presence.

Countless joys that life could have offered him were denied. Now, he follows other laws of the Universe, and savors the freedom of living as he likes, and in the world he chooses.

In my eyes, my little one has transformed himself into a multicolored butterfly that flutters, to his heart’s content, over the most beautiful, exotic, and awesome places on this planet. I imagine his flights over Sardinia in Italy, over Santorini in Greece, over the French Polynesian Islands, over Búzios and Fernando de Noronha in Brazil. I imagine the bird’s eye-view he must get of these and so many other places. I see him in all colourful and amazing things, like the Saltimbanco acrobat in the Cirque du Soleil.

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