When I grew up everyone knew about Thalidomide, a drug given to prevent morning sickness in expectant mothers, which caused severe limb abnormalities in the child. The drug was used for only a short period, so those suffering from the condition are all of a certain age.
The condition is both very recognisable and rare, so there is a good chance you will have noticed Gerry Cleary (above) at a Celtic game at some point. When I was a boy I saw him at Love St and heard about the scandal later that night from my (animated) mother. There was a fresh news story only yesterday, detailing the history of one uncompensated victim.
Gerry is part of a campaign by Thalidomide sufferers to raise awareness of the condition and put pressure on the drug’s developer, Chemie Grunenthal, to compensate UK victims. On this occasion, you are not being asked to put your hands in your pockets, you’re being asked to register your support of the Show Your Hand campaign.
Gerry explains the campaign below:
“My name is Gerry Cleary, I am a 51 year old Celtic supporter from East Kilbride who was born with a condition called Thalidomide caused by a so called wonder drug manufactured by a German pharmaceutical company, Chemie Grunenthal.
“There is currently a major awareness campaign underway to put pressure on this company to face up to their responsibilities, finally apologise and compensate all thalidomers affected by their actions over 50 years ago.
“I know being a hoops fan all my life and following the team all over Europe our club is open to all and our fans second to none, and all I ask is the Celtic family to show their support by logging on to our campaign website www.showyourhand.org which enables you to register your support. It also details the history of the biggest pharmaceutical disaster in modern times and is both enlightening and informative.
“I look forward to your support.
Hail Hail !!!”
I know we can’t all afford to participate in the many needy causes we feature regularly here but we can all support this campaign, as can the club, I am sure.
Celtic’s Iron Man:[calameo code=00039017122aafd9859a6 lang=en page=126 hidelinks=1 width=100% height=500]