Véronique, you are the mother of a baby with Down Syndrome. You were pregnant at the time when the video “Dear Future Mom” was being broadcasted”. Could you describe the beginning of your pregnancy and how you felt when you saw the video?
We learned that our baby had Down Syndrome as a result of the first ultrasound after 12 weeks of pregnancy which is carried out to check nuchal translucency, just before Christmas in 2013. We were getting ready to welcome this little girl as best as possible, through tears but also by carrying on with our lives.
I was just starting to look for information on this disease on the Internet when I found the « Dear Future Mom” video. Of course, I was deeply moved by the video: to see all those children, adolescents and adults telling me about everything my little girl would be able to do was amazing and very moving. So were all those mothers who shared a very intimate relationship with their child with Down Syndrome. It felt like the video had been made for me.
What part of this video particularly touched you?
What I was also very touched by was seeing all the different associations at the origin of the video, to know that it was a big advertising agency that had made it, to see it on the Internet applauded by millions of people and then see it on television channels.
I felt reassured about my little girl and about the way society sees her. In fact, since she was born (she is 2 months old), not only our family and friends but also our colleagues, doctors and nurses caring for her at Necker (she had to undergo surgery several times) surround and accompany her remarkably well.
3. The CSA, in its decision of July 25th, considers that this video is of public utility. How did you react when you heard about this decision? What message would you like to pass on to the CSA and others?
Receiving the CSA’s decision was like receiving an enormous punch in the stomach. People had complained about the video? Why? The CSA had reprimanded the television channels which had broadcasted it? But why?
It was the first time that I got the feeling that my daughter’s disability was a problem for some people and I found it incredibly violent.
Then, I got over it… because I found the CSA’s decision proved they had missed the point completely! Millions of people had like this video, had broadcasted it, rewards were escalating, it was even broadcasted at the UN,... and the CSA did not wish for it to be seen on television screens… but what on earth is these sophisticated minds’ understanding of life?
My daughter will probably not graduate, she will probably not have a great professional career, will probably not marry a wealthy and eminent man. So what? Does it really matter that much? She will have a life of her own, maybe a bit different but maybe not that different. And anyway, it’s my daughter and I love her and I ask you to respect her. As the Général de Gaulle used to say about his daughter who also had Down Syndrome: “She’s a de Gaulle too!”
Ladies and gentlemen, members of the CSA, get prepared for the next World Day for Down Syndrome, we’ll be starting all over again!