31 May 2012

Laurence Tiennot-Herment, President of the AFM since 2003

Illustration for article: Laurence Tiennot-Herment, President of the AFM since 2003
"I understood that you have to fight with the spirit of people who have nothing to lose. If you want to move mountains. It can be done.”

As a trained chartered accountant, Laurence Tiennot-Herment led a pleasant life in Normandy, where she managed an agribusiness with her husband. Her only son was three and a half years old when she found out that he was suffering from Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

It was in 1987, year of the 1st Telethon. "I was not predestined in any way for the professional and personal life which is mine today," says Laurence Tiennot-Herment. "A spelling mistake in my only son's genome turned my life upside down. It was a heavy blow. The disease is there, it gradually invades every space. I told myself: we'll do everything to fight this, find solutions, not allow a single door to close". Her son died at the age of 20, in October 2003, four months after she became president of the AFM-Téléthon.

Laurence Tiennot-Herment was involved in the Telethon locally, before being elected as a member of the AFM-Téléthon board of directors in 1997. "My driving force, is this rage against the disease which took the life of my son. I want to go further and faster and move mountains when I see how children suffer. Be a driving force, a focus for researchers and pharmaceutical industries which want to wait a little longer before joining the ranks."

Source: La Tribune, 16 April 2010.