When limbless French swimming hero Philippe Croizon's wheelchair was stolen, he received a flood of public sympathy. But now he is demanding for the disabled the "liberté, egalité, fraternité" the French Revolution promised over 200 years ago.
Published: 20 Aug 2013
By: Dan MacGuill
Philippe Croizon, a renowned French adventurer who made history in 2010 by becoming the first quadruple-amputee to swim across the English Channel, hit the headlines earlier this month when his custom-designed, €24,000 wheelchair was stolen from him.
The theft caused outrage in France, with politicians, activists and members of the public expressing their disgust at the thieves, before the wheelchair was eventually returned to its rightful owner.
Croizon, however, used the episode as an opportunity to lament that France’s social security system reimbursed him just €3,000 for the crucial equipment, despite the fact that “on average, an electric wheelchair costs about €10,000.”
In the last two weeks, Croizon appears to have received countless letters and messages from other persons with disabilities, sharing their struggle to survive and thrive in France.
On Tuesday, Croizon took to his Facebook page to share an extraordinary and moving open letter to French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, demanding the government do more for the country's disabled minority.
Here it is in full, as translated by The Local.
Read the full article at the Local