Home > Dwarfism > People with Dwarfism > Testimonies > Sylvie R. and Marc-André D.

The Association has a very special place in my heart. It has allowed me to experience intense emotions and remains a vital organization in defending the rights of little people. I was made aware of what it stood for since I came to Montreal.

Originally from the Eastern Townships and with an M.A. from the University of Sherbrooke, I landed in the big city with every intention of spending my life there. As the eldest of three girls and affected by Morquio's syndrome, I felt, deep inside, that I could accomplish great things, despite the hardships that life inflicts on me. I believe I inherited this sense of mission from my parents who never gave up in the face of adversity, while raising two children out of three afflicted by this syndrome.

Shortly after I joined the Association, I became involved in the board of directors by filling in turn the positions of secretary and later on that of president from 1989 to 1994. Advocacy has always been and always will be my driving force. In 1990, together with others, I represented the AQPPT as a guest speaker at UNESCO in Paris. I feel privileged to have received the education that enables me to face the difficulties of daily life. Employed by Bell Canada for almost 22 years, right now as a customer representative, I have contributed, through my attitude, to help vanish a lot of prejudice against little people from the collective consciousness. Unfortunately, this reality is not everybody's privilege.

I am convinced that the Association also serves to reduce the isolation of people through its social gatherings. Otherwise, I would loudly proclaim that these gatherings were not a pretext for romantic encounters. It is easy to say when one is single but difficult to defend when love grows between members. I have not been immune to Cupid's arrow! While Marc-André was a member of the Association for some time before I joined as a member, he would only occasionally attend various gatherings. My future sweetheart was involved in several organizations while working full-time for the then Montreal Urban Community and following graduate studies at Concordia. As coffee lovers both of us, it was while having coffee with milk that he bought especially for me during a symposium on dwarfism that the sparks flew. A few months later, we met at the Association's Christmas party and realized that we wished to get to know each other more. This wonderful adventure started almost 15 years ago and since then not a single day has passed without our talking or seeing each other. This love was formalized when we got married September 7, 1996, and it still continues to grow. Life does not spare us for all that because disease and surgical operations have been and continue to be part of our lives, but we are fighters. The love we have for each other has allowed us to get through these more painful life events. Words of thanks to the Association for letting people grow in their life journey. We all have a part to play in society and the AQPPT can help us reach that goal.

From a member who does not forget you…

P.S. After all these years, Marc-André still makes me my coffee with milk for breakfast as lovingly as the first day.

Sylvie R., November 2008



© 2011 AQPPT - Translated by George Bravo and Judy Murphy