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Dr. Nicola Acciari, a longtime Italian neurosurgeon, warned fans in an interview with an Italian newspaper that Schumacher is not the same person as when he was winning races across Europe, according to The Daily Mail. He said that the 51-year-old is “very altered and deteriorated” and believes he is “a person very different from the one we remember on the tack.”
“We must imagine a person very different from the one we remember on the track, with a very altered and deteriorated organic, muscular and skeletal structure,” he told the Italian newspaper Contro Copertina. “All as a result of the brain trauma he suffered.”
Though not many updates have been provided on Schumacher or his recovery, former Ferrari manager Jean Todt told a local radio station in July the driver was “making good progress” but was “struggling to communicate,” according to The Telegraph.
One German fan club announced its plan to launch “KeepFightingMichael” last month, according to the UK Mirror. Schumacher’s wife, Corinna, responded to the campaign.
“Big things start with small steps. Many small particles can form a huge mosaic,” she told fans, according to The Mirror. “Together you are stronger, and that is exactly how combined forces of the KeepFighting movement make it easier to encourage others.”
The club reportedly plans to use #KeepFighting to help spread the word about their campaign. Reiner Ferling, the fan club’s president, told The Mirror he hopes Schumacher comes out in public again.
Schumacher has not been seen in public since he was severely injured in a horrific skiing injury in 2013. He was placed in a medically induced coma in 2014 and was relocated to his home where he was undergoing rehabilitation privately.
Schumacher is widely considered one of the greatest F1 competitors of all-time. He won seven F1 championships and has 91 career wins. He retired from racing in 2006 before returning in 2010. He retired a second time in 2012.