Last weekend I had the great pleasure of attending the annual SMA conference in Mainz again. This four-day-event is so very popular and always well-visited as families come from all over Germany. They so much enjoy meeting all their peers again, since over the last decade wonderful and intense friendships have been built. Every year it warms my heart seeing these kids approaching full bloom. Some of them I didn’t even recognize since they seemed to have become adults in the blink of an eye.

I couldn’t be any prouder of my wonderful and long-time friend Michael Kolodzig, who is not only the chairman of the Deutsche Muskelstiftung, but also is able to move mountains. I have never met anyone else with more determination and will power than him. His foundation’s mission is to promote spinal muscular research through donations with a view to finding a cure. And his hope for cure has always been unwavering. Four years ago he gave every single one of the conference’s attendees a torch with the words “One day we will see light at the end of the tunnel. We have amazing medical experts on board and will not give up researching.” On Saturday he was close to tears and struggling for words: “We finally see light at the end of the tunnel.”

Please enjoy a few impressions of this year’s conference.

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