This is called the law of series. As the 33rd Telethon opens on Friday, December 6th, the traditional charity event for research on rare diseases is once again shaken by the news. Tribute to Johnny Hallyday in 2017, scheduled on the same day as the show, Vests yellow in 2018, now it is the strikes announced as "unlimited" that come to thwart his organization.
"We have to cancel the March of rare diseases which was to gather, this Saturday, 2000 families for its 20th year, regrets Laurence Tiennot-Herment, president of the French Association against myopathies (AFM-Telethon) who orchestrates this mobilization , born in 1987.
"Volunteers are in the starting blocks"
In such a context, it was impossible to bring these walkers from all over France who had to walk the streets of Paris, with the name of a rare disease on a sign, 7000 in total, affecting 3 million French people. "We are necessarily weakened by external events, whether weather or social. I often say that the Telethon is a colossus with clay feet, "says the president.
In the provinces, on the ground, the course is maintained, no event is canceled. "All the volunteers are in the starting blocks, the only fear concerns the shortage of fuel during travel but, in principle, there will be no more blocked deposits," says Laurence Tiennot-Herment. And in Paris, how to get to the TV set of the Cité des Sciences, in the north of the capital? Families of patients usually move with their own car.
Motorcycle taxis reserved for artists
As for the artists, "motorcycle taxis are reserved, we explain on the side of France Televisions. We find solutions ». The teams are honed. It's far from the first storm. "It is incomparable with last year's situation where we had to change the set on Tuesday for Friday." The demonstrations of Vests yellow, in December, had been right of the 30 hours of direct place of the Concorde and France Televisions had repatriated, catimini, the emission in its studios ten times smaller. "The teams had worked day and night, quietly, it was bluffing," says the group.
On Sunday, shortly before 2 am, before making the antenna, Sophie Davant, co-presenter of the television marathon, had grimaced while watching the counter blocked on 69 million euros of pledges, a decrease of 9%. "We would have liked to break records" but "there are years more difficult than others". And yet! It was to forget the strength of the post-broadcast mobilization. And the generosity of the French, very attached to this event, at the origin of great therapeutic advances.
They continued to dial 36 37, open as every year until the following Friday and to give online until 28 February. Result, an unexpected rebound with more than 85 million euros harvested. "I had never received so many letters from retired people telling me, this year, we will not be able to participate because of the increase of the CSGbut they caught up at the end of the year, at the time of the holidays, "smiled the president. For the vintage 2019, perhaps with strikes, more French will stay at home in front of their television and so the Telethon.