Yone is 12

22 10 2016

There it is.

The moment one jokes about after the first child is born… Hahahaha, wait till he goes to university… Before you know it you’ll be celebrating his 12th birthday.

Well. We did.

The usual recipe: no big fancy parties. A few select friends. One day for friends from school, another day for family. Homemade applecake. Last swim in the pool of the season. Bliss.


An interview on CHARGE syndrome

6 10 2016

Last Tuesday, October 4th, I was interviewed on live radio by Paula Romero, on her weekly show La Caja de Pandora, where she discusses everything related to disabilities in the broadest sense of the term. Her program themes range from Alzheimer’s disease, autism, rare syndromes, to interviews with parents fighting against the shutting down of special needs institutions or units.

A mutual friend connected us through facebook and Paula asked if she could interview me. I accepted.

This is the link to the interview. I’m on after minute 19, after Barbara Streisand… It’s in Spanish:


La Caja de Pandora

Paula Romero has a daughter with CHARGE syndrome. In fact, we heard about Paula’s case when we moved to Tenerife in 2010 and I’ve been looking for her since. Now, six years later, I find her (or she finds me) and we talk in her show. This makes me extremely grateful. Dácil’s first pediatrician, not the specialist at the hospital, but the regular one we were assigned to when we moved to La Orotava, told us he had heard of another case of CHARGE here in Tenerife. Our hospital team in Holland told us to look for someone in Tenerife who would have some experience with either CHARGE or some other syndrome with multiple defects as it would be easier to get suitable help for Dácil.

None of this, however, was possible here. We were sent to the Hospital in La Laguna, because we live in the North of Tenerife. We found out that the doctor treating this (to us unknown) girl with CHARGE worked in the Candelaria Hospital in Santa Cruz. Only for capital or South Tenerife residents. We found out her name. We phoned, asked, tried, but we could not get through to her and I simply could not understand (not until today) why we should not see this doctor with CHARGE experience and had to go somewhere where no-one had ever heard of CHARGE. It was very frustrating.

And here I am, writing about my meeting with Paula, Naomi’s mother. She told me all about Naomi, who was born in 1970, long before anyone, anywhere (let alone here) knew anything about CHARGE. Naomi is going to be 46 in December.

This meeting, our conversation, the interview, it somehow feels as if part of a puzzle has fallen into place. I wasn’t even aware that this puzzle was still there…

Yone’s back to fencing

6 10 2016

Yone started fencing 2 years ago. The local Puerto de la Cruz fencing club is quite a prestigious one and has formed many a champion. Master Enzo Cherubino was responsible for all of these victories.

When I studied at the British Yeoward School, in the mid 80’s, I had a classmate who was National junior champion. And that’s quite an achievement for such a tiny far away place as Puerto de la Cruz. Dominique Schuchard’s photo is still hanging on the wall in the club.

Enzo Cherubino passed  away quite suddenly last august. Since then the club and its members have been through a phase of adaptation and renewal.

Yesterday Yone took up where he had left off before the summer holidays. Without Enzo, but with expectation and enthusiasm. And it felt good to be back.