Shocked by yellow jackets, the Telethon receives fewer donations - Le Dauphiné Libéré

The Telethon counter surpassed the € 36 million this Saturday evening, a slight decline compared to the 2017 edition, the television marathon is shaken by the mobilization of yellow jackets.

The 2018 Telethon entered his home section. At 20 hours, the desk showed more than 38 million euros of donations, said the AFM Telethon this Saturday night.

"It's very moving because behind this meter there are hours of mobilization of our volunteers on the field.There are some sacrifices behind this counter.I know very well that for some of you what you give is very important and you are with us. The day, you've seen the victories, all those lives saved, these wonderful results, these results are yours, we must not let go, "said Laurence Tiennot-Herment, President of AFM-Telethon.

"We are a little bit behind last year, we can not ignore the context," he said at the start of the day.

Since 1987, the AFM-Téléthon association has organized this unique charity event, with its 30 hours of live broadcast on television.

Animations canceled

Animations and challenges had to be canceled in anticipation of Act IV of yellow jackets, such as the "Walk of Rare Diseases" scheduled in the Luxembourg Garden, in the capital, the "villages of Téléthon" scheduled in Bordeaux and Quimper, or still a "children's lottery" initially planned in Marseillan (Hérault).

As a precaution, the set of France Televisions installed under two large transparent bubbles, Place de la Concorde, at the end of the Champs-Elysees, was abandoned in favor of a more modest studio device.

250,000 volunteers

But the overwhelming majority of the 20,000 animation points programmed to collect donations have been maintained, and the mobilization for Telethon in small towns and villages "warms the heart", underlined Laurence Tiennot-Herment, announcing a figure of 250,000 volunteers.

Among the proposed challenges, the AFM-Téléthon invites the French to organize a pancake party with their friends, neighbors or colleagues, and then indicate on a dedicated website (https: / / milliondecrepes.telethon.fr) the number of cakes consumed and pay 1 euro to the Telethon for each of them.

"Overcoming the disease"

Called "Overcoming Illness", the 2018 edition is a testimony to the early successes of gene therapy in the treatment of rare genetic diseases of the blood, liver and immune system, with testimonies from families and researchers.

France 2 transmitted in particular moving images of the evolution after the treatment of a child suffering from a rare muscle disease, myotubular myopathy. This genetic anomaly causes extreme muscle weakness and severe respiratory failure.

But 12 weeks after receiving an injection that gave him a healthy gene, in a clinical trial of the company Audentes Therapeutics, the child is sitting alone and takes objects. This promising outcome opens "a new era", according to Serge Braun, scientific director of the AFM-Telethon, because applying gene therapy to the muscles, which account for 30% of the body mass, has represented a new level of difficulty.

"We are at a historic turning point in the Telethon, we have dropped an impossible wall," said Laurence Tiennot-Herment.

Fifty youtuber and famous videogames players, including Norman and Cyprien, have also presented a "telethon gaming" on the Twitch platform since Friday. Last year, the request for donations collected 89 million euros, down compared to 2016 (93 million).

"A pause in research

"We want to do at least as well the previous year, because a halt to harvesting is also a brake on research," said Laurence Tiennot-Herment. Clinical trials and drug projects affect only 5% of the identified rare diseases, however, says the president of the AFM-Telethon.

"There is still 95% waiting … For some (…) research has not started yet because we have not yet found the gene at the origin of the disease".

The donations, tax deductible at 66%, can be made on the website www.telethon.fr or by telephone at 36.37.

Of AFP |
Published 08/12/2018 at 20:21

|updated about 1 hour ago
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