Charles Biétry: suffering from Charcot’s disease, the sports journalist prepared his suicide

During an interview with the Team, Charles Biétry revealed that he had Charcot’s disease. The famous sports journalist also announced that he would resort to assisted suicide in Switzerland when the time comes.

Sad news. Charles Bietry made the heyday of sports commentary. For many years, he could be found on Canal +, a channel of which he was also the sports director from 1984 to 1998. Subsequently, he had also worked for Eurosport, France Télévisions or even beIN Sport. At the same time, he was also briefly the club president of Paris Saint-Germain from July to December 1998.

But for several years, Charles Biétry had become much rarer in the media. During an interview with the newspaper l’Équipe, the journalist revealed that he suffered from Charcot’s disease. “When I first had foot symptoms five and a half years ago, ALS was thought to be [Sclérose Latérale Amyotrophique ou maladie de Charcot, ndlr] but at the Pitié-Salpêtrière (hospital in the 13th arrondissement of Paris), I was then told that it was not so. Finally, yes. At that time, I also don’t know everything about the disease yet. Fortunately or unfortunately, I have a computer and, as soon as they leave my room, I go on it… And I understand where I’m going… The doctor makes the diagnosis and, afterwards, it’s up to you to take it and to see how you will handle it. In fact, this is the most important since you have no treatment, no care and the outcome is inevitable”said Charles Biétry, who today has difficulty expressing himself and has to use crutches to get around: “I always thought I was going to resort, play ball again with my grandchildren… I saw the progress. At one point, I fell, my leg no longer supported me at all. But I’ve toned her up so much that it doesn’t happen anymore…unless I lose my balance. Having done a lot of sport and continuing to do so every day posed a problem for the disease and still does..

Charles Biétry: “I don’t want to suffer and above all make my family suffer”

Consequently, Charles Biétry wanted to make a heavy decision: the use of assisted suicide in Switzerland. “We organized everything with my wife and my children. I don’t want to be hooked up to a machine to breathe when there’s nothing left, no future. I don’t want to suffer and especially to make my family suffer. We made arrangements to stop before we got there. I registered in Switzerland for assisted suicide, all the papers are signed. I can choose and my wife can do it for me if I’m not able”explained the journalist, who hopes, with these words, to give some hope to people who suffer from the same disease as him: “It’s almost a cliché to say that you have to fight, not give up. But I prove that by continuing the sport, it holds me. It’s not normal that I’m still alive, walking around on my crutches and watching Real-Barcelona this week. This is proof that it is possible. If I hadn’t worked my muscles every day, it would have been over a long time ago. You have to fight to extend the adventure beyond what was planned. If you give yourself, you can”.

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