20 year anniversary, exhibition opening and an award
In Germany, The Tom Wahlig Foundation, since its founding in 1998, has had a clear goal: to inform and support those with HSP. They state “We want to take the fear and make courage. And we want HSP to be curable one day. To do this, we promote medical research: we finance science projects, we support international exchange between researchers, we award a sponsorship prize – and in this way we are making HSP more and more well-known”.
The Tom Wahlig Foundation was invited to the district government of Münster, Germany last November to celebrate its 20 year anniversary. Many guests came and there were speeches by other important foundation heads along with the opening of the exhibition “Orphans of Medicine”.
A few days later, there was another good reason for Tom Wahlig and his family to celebrate – he was awarded the Cross of Merit by the Government President Dorothee Feller for his endowment work. In the justification given by Ms. Feller for the ceremony, she said: “You have made a significant contribution to bringing a largely unknown disease out of the shadows. Today, you are awarded the Federal Cross of Merit for your special voluntary work in the social and health sector”. A humbled Tom Wahlig in response concluded his words of thanks with “What you are, you owe to others.”
Frank McKeown, President of the HSP Research Foundation, congratulated Tom, his family and his Foundation on this milestone achievement and acknowledged the enormous contribution to the advancement of HSP knowledge and understanding that their endeavours have yielded. Frank said “Tom and his Foundation have done more than facilitate and fund HSP research. They have nurtured promising researchers and helped shape the global HSP research agenda in a very constructive way. We, in other foundations and support groups around the world, have followed and benefited from their endeavours. I wish Tom personally, his family, and his Foundation best wishes for continuing success”.