The 2019 edition of the Telethon was launched Friday on France 2, for a 33rd edition under the sign of "new victories" hoped for in several diseases through gene therapy.
The two presenters, Sophie Davant and Nagui, proceeded to the traditional reset of donations counter, alongside the godfather of this year, actor Jean-Paul Rouve.
The big charity fundraising marathon for research on genetic diseases will end on the night of Saturday to Sunday.
"After winning its first victories against immune deficiency, rare diseases of blood and vision, gene therapy today demonstrates its effectiveness in neuromuscular diseases such as spinal muscular atrophy," said Laurence Tiennot-Herment, President of the French Association against myopathies (AFM), which organizes the event.
"The success of the Telethon depends on the launch of new research projects and the culmination of those currently being carried out," she said.
The AFM hopes a renewed mobilization after a 2018 edition disturbed by the "yellow vests".
Pledges had reached only 69.3 million euros after the weekend of appeal to the generosity of the French, against 75.6 million euros the previous year.
The final count announced in March, however, reached 85.8 million, still down slightly from the more than 89 million harvested in 2017.
The transport strike and the mobilization against the pension reform should not disrupt the events planned throughout the day Saturday, especially with the participation of families affected by these diseases, hope the organizers.
They have nevertheless told AFP have canceled the "March of rare diseases", which was to be held Saturday in Paris, facing the difficulties for the provincial to reach the capital.
But there is "no other events canceled so far to our knowledge," the association adds.
The 30-hour live broadcast on France 2 and France 3 will be particularly rhythmic, Saturday at 11:00, by a report on the ascent by three patients and a researcher of Mount Albaron, summit of the Alps which culminates at 3,637 meters look at "36 37", the number of the phone line to call to make a donation.
Saturday at noon, France 2 will broadcast the crossing made on 22 November by the tightrope walker Nathan Paulin on a wire stretched between two towers of the business district of La Défense, near Paris.
Donations, tax-deductible at 66%, can be made on the don.telethon.fr website or by calling 3637.
© 2019 AFP