I was born with a rare genetic disorder (the TAR syndrome). A defect of the first chromosome adversely impacts the development of the skeleton and, in some cases, internal organs. Most often, the arms are shorter than normal (in some cases, very short, which makes a lot of things in our daily lives quite difficult; the muscles are also very hard solicited, since they don’t benefit from the force amplifier provided by a longer arm, which is working like a lever in classical Newtonian physics).

I have one of the more severe cases of TAR: my arms are quite short, the hips and knees are incompletely formed, and a heart problem (already corrected by surgery in my early childhood). Nevertheless, I live an active, independent life: I am intelligent, educated, successful in my job (I even worked in R&D for a subsidiary of Daimler, the company producing the luxury Mercedes cars), I drive a Volkswagen Golf, enjoy reading and love going out and travelling — I go out almost every weekend and love every second!

Fortunately, the TAR syndrome is very rare: in Germany there are, as far as I know, around 26 known cases among its about 80 million people. There’s been a lot of progress in the last years, thanks to modern technology and genetics: the doctors only managed to diagnose my condition in 2006, after a detailed genetical analysis at a clinic in Berlin.

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