Thalidomide in the News
Coming soon, from Random House, “The Gatekeeper” an award-winning investigative book about the thalidomide scandal of the 1960s by Jennifer Vanderbes.
I am sitting right now, looking upward at a glass ceiling right above my head, so close that it concerns me. I can see where I want to go, but I can’t get there.
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US Thalidomide Survivors, a nonprofit organization based in St. Paul, Minnesota, is looking for people born between 1957 and 1963 with defects possibly caused by their mother taking thalidomide in the first trimester of pregnancy.
“Oh my God! Were you a thalidomide baby?”
A gray-haired man stood staring at my disfigured arms and hands; trapped in the aisle, my heart raced.
Before the gathering of US thalidomide survivors, I expected there would be many tears as we told our stories. In the end, there was far more laughter than tears.
For more than 45 years I worked hard to hide my physical differences and associated struggles. Each decade became more difficult until I could no longer hide.
When I was a child, I knew that having birth defects was a source of shame to your family. But the truth about the cause of my defects was deliberately kept from me.
Read the Washington Post review of MERMAID A Memoir of Resistance