A Tribute to our Families

A Word of Gratitude

Throughout their lives, thalidomide survivors have faced several challenges due to their congenital malformations. But we often tend to forget about their families and relatives whore were also, although indirectly, thalidomide victims.

  • Let us think about all those mothers who took thalidomide during their pregnancy, convinced that it was harmless, and who then blamed themselves unfairly.
  • Let us think about the shock experienced by all these parents who have seen their child come into the world with severe birth defects.
  • Let us think about all those who lost a child before it was even born because of thalidomide.
  • Let us also think about all those families who have had to mourn either an infant or a young adult who died as a result of the teratogenic effects of thalidomide.

This page is dedicated to the families and relatives of thalidomide survivors, as a tribute to the hardships they have had to go through, but most of all as a recognition of all they have done and continue doing for us.  Whether they are related to us by blood or by heart, we would like to express our gratitude to all those people who have given us care, support and love.


Family portrait of Mercedes Benegbi and her parents

I owe everything to my parents. Since I was born, they gave me everything: they loved me, cared for me, push me so I could develop my autonomy, taught me to accept my differences and accompanied me while I learned to overcome the obstacles that stood on my way. The education my parents gave me contributed to the trust I have in myself, to my awareness of my worth as a human being and to my first knowledge of the tragedy of thalidomide, allowing me to develop the skills necessary to fully realize myself and contribute to society.  Since they had to fight against a big pharmaceutical company when I was a child, they were my first example of activism. Thank you, mom and dad, for everything you have done for me. You have been the best parents in the world and for that, I will always be grateful.

– Your daughter, Mercédes