A desire to help instead of everyday frustration


Leoni Lutz is 17 years old and the youngest volunteer speaker at FAHL. She regularly speaks at the annual seminars on the provision of medical aids for children organised by Michael Brüggemann, our branch manager in Berlin. He also advises Leoni as a field sales representative.

Leoni suffers from a degenerative disease (chronic GvHD) which her body developed as a defence reaction to a bone marrow transplant and which weakens her immune system, which is why she is confined to a wheelchair. Meanwhile, Leoni's lungs have become severely damaged and she is now tracheotomised and permanently ventilated. Physically she is extremely limited, but mentally she is in top shape. And because she is such a bright, intelligent girl who also likes to speak her mind, Micheal Brüggemann had the idea of asking her to be a speaker at the in-house tracheostomy seminars.


"Don't dwell too much on the opinions of others 
- keep your chin up and let's go!"

Izuku Midoriya in My Hero Academia

She immediately agreed, has now participated three times and is booked again for this year. There she tells participants what it feels like to wear a cannula or to be suctioned as well as about her own experiences with different products. She gives practical advice and explains what works for her and what doesn't. This is incredibly valuable for the participants, caregivers and relatives, and that in turn makes Leoni happy. She feels a pronounced desire to help and care for other people.


The pupil attends the 10th grade at a school for physically and mentally handicapped children. When asked about her favourite subjects, she counters: "I'd rather list all the things I do NOT like." And then comes a long list. Actually, only English and maybe also biology find reprieve before her critical eyes at the present time. Since Corona, Leoni has only attended online classes and is present at school with a telepresence robot (a mobile video conferencing system that can be controlled remotely). Because of her weakened immune system, this is an ideal form of participating in classes for her.


She enjoys helping

However, she enjoys helping others much more than lessons at school. This is also reflected in her other hobbies. Leoni likes to cook for her mother and the neighbours and has already tried out many things, such as a bowl with rice and salmon, and even 3-course menus. Unfortunately, the kitchen at home is not equipped for disabled people, so her mother has to give the teenager a bit of a helping hand with the cooking. Nevertheless, Leoni still enjoys it very much. But above all, she loves to experiment a bit. Otherwise, the young lady loves to draw and paint, both offline and online. She even bought a special drawing pen for her tablet. On the internet she plays Minecraft or Roblox, where she also likes helping others when they get stuck. Social media channels are of course also a topic for multi-talented Leoni. She surfs on YouTube, has an Instagram and a Snapchat account and spends a lot of time on TikTok. Too much, by the way, as she herself now admits. "This is a real time eater" she says, trying to limit herself somewhat. On Snapchat, she is currently discussing the artificial intelligence "My AI" with her friends. She suddenly appeared at the top of the "Friends" list and cannot be removed. She and her friends are already thinking about whether this is not dangerous and whether it is even permissible.

Looks aren't everything!

Unfortunately, Leoni has also already experienced the negative sides in the so-called social media. For example, she can tell of insults or nasty comments about her history or appearance. These days, therefore, she thinks carefully about what she posts and who she makes friends with on the net. However, her appearance always attracts attention in daily life as well. "When I'm out and about, people always stare at me. It's a real pain - even though I've got used to it by now." Sometimes she just stares back, then people turn their faces away because they are embarrassed. But why her appearance is still so alienating for other people is something Leoni simply cannot understand. She thinks it should be quite normal nowadays for people to be out in public with artificial respiration, oxygen or other aids.

The 17-year-old is still not sure what she wants to do after finishing school. Her mother wants her to pass her A-levels first. "But I don't like studying any more" she tells us. She could well imagine a career as a graphic designer or as a cook. She would be especially happy to work in the field of medicine, because she simply loves to help people. In this respect, her work as a speaker is already a good beginning.


At the end of the interview, we asked her what she wanted for the future. "That there are more understanding people," she answers, "and a kitchen at home that is suitable for disabled people!" she adds with a smile.


Leoni Lutz, aged 17

The bright teenager has been cared for by FAHL for 7 years. She describes the company and her contact person Michael Brüggemann as being reliable, helpful and well organised. Leoni is an avid anime fan - the Japanese animated series and films. The "My Hero Academia" series is her big favourite at the moment.