One of Formula One's most successful racing drivers to date, Michael Schumacher, is celebrating his 50th birthday on January 3.
There will be celebrations with his family and friends as well as fans throughout the world, but they will be tinged by sadness.
On December 29, 2013, Michael fell while skiing off-piste near Meribel in the French Alps with his family.
He hit his head on a rock and suffered severe brain injuries that left him fighting for his life and in an artificial coma.
The German remains very much alive in the eyes of the sporting world and Formula One in particular.
Formula One superstar
By the time of his accident, Michael Schumacher had notched up 91 Grand Prix victories and seven Formula One titles, making him the most decorated star in F1 history.
Formula One's focus will be on highlighting the remarkable career and talents of a man whose fame stretched well beyond the sport, and who enthused a legion of fans in the 1990s and early years of the century.
The Ferrari museum in Maranello, Italy, is planning a special exhibition, opening on his birthday and lasting for a few months, "both as a celebration and a mark of gratitude to the most successful Prancing Horse driver ever."
Mercedes, the last team Schumacher drove for in Formula One, will have some of his cars on display at their museum in Stuttgart.
Public figure, private life
Michael Schumacher is much-loved both by his family and the sporting world and many will be celebrating his life as well as his achievements, none more so than his wife Corinna.
In a series of tweets, Schumacher's family made a rare reference to his condition and care but kept the details private as they have done ever since his accident.
"We are delighted and would like to thank you for celebrating Michael's 50th birthday tomorrow...with him and with us.
Michael Schumacher through the years
Michael Schumacher through the years
Michael Schumacher celebrates with his wife Corrina team boss Jean Todt, Manager Willi Weber, and Rubens Barrichello after clinching the World Championship with his win in Hungary
Ferrari's Michael Schumacher sprays the victory champagne in front of an emotional Jean Todt after winning the race and securing his 5th World Driver's Championship
Michael Schumacher of Germany poses during a photo call at the Bongarts Studio in 1991 in Hamburg.
Michael Schumacher poses in a Sauber-Mercedes C291.
Michael Schumacher’s family say 'we are doing everything possible to help him' in rare statement ahead of his 50th birthday.
Schumacher’s trademark leap marked another win at Silverstone en route to the drivers’ championship in 2002.
Despite a disqualification, Schumacher went on to win the 1994 Formula One drivers’ title.
The F1 legend is pictured in 1991.
Michael Schumacher is pictured skiing.
File photo dated 12-07-1998 of Michael Schumacher lifts the trophy after winning the British Grand Prix at Silverstone today. Picture Owen Humphries/PA* EDI *
File photo dated 10-07-1994 of Britain's Damon Hill (center) on the winners Rostrum with second placed Michael Schumacher (left) and Jean Alesi after taking his Williams Renault to victory in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
File photo dated 09-06-2006 of Ferrari's Michael Schumacher
File photo dated 11-07-2004 of Michael Schumacher
Scuderia Ferrari's Fernando Alonso (centre) after qualifying in pole position with second place Red Bull Racing Renault's Mark Webber (right) and third place Mercedes AMG Petronas' Michael Schumacher during qualifying for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone.
Mercedes AMG Petronas driver Michael Schumacher in the garage during the third practice session of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone.
Mercedes Grand Prix driver Michael Schumacher on a bike before the Monaco Grand Prix at the Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo.
Mercedes' Michael Schumacher during the Qualifying Day at the Monza Circuit, Italy.
Mercedes' Michael Schumacher during Third Practice Session during Qualifying for the Santander British Grand Prix at Silverstone Circuit, Northampton.
Michael Schumacher, Mercedes GP
Mercedes' Michael Schumacher makes his way down the pit lane after the practice session at the Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo.
Mercedes' Michael Schumacher during the driver's parade prior to the start of the Spanish Grand Prix
Mercedes GP driver Michael Schumacher during the Formula One Testing Session at the Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo, Valencia, Spain.
Michael Schumacher in the pits during practice day at the Circuit Valencia, Spain.
Germany's Michael Schumacher
Motor racing champion Michael Schumacher launches Rally for Safer Roads in central London.
Ferrari's Michael Schumacher at Silverstone ahead of the British Grand Prix which will be held on Sunday.
World F1 Champion Michael Schumacher in the pits during afternoon practise, at Silverstone, prior to Sunday's British Grand Prix in, Northamptonshire.
F1 World Champion, Michael Schumacher at Dublin Castle, where he attended the formal signing of an historic European Charter on Road Safety. The Charter is a key element of the 'European Safety Drive' action programme thats goal is reducing the number of road deaths in Europe by at least 50% by 2010. According to the Irish Department of Transport, 40,000 people die as a result of traffic accidents in the 15 EU countries, with 1.2 million worldwide killed each year on the roads, or over 3,000 every day.
Pele and Michael Schumacher fool around at the Preliminary Draw in Frankfurt for the 2006 World Cup
Ferrari's Michael Schumacher (l) fools around with jockey Frankie Dettori (r) in the pits
Ferrari's Michael Schumacher, Rubens Barrichello and Technical Director Ross Brawn stand with 3rd placed driver Juan Pablo Montoya and celebrate at the top of the podium after another 1-2 finish
Ferrari's Michael Schumacher, relaxing between sessions sips coffee and chats with Sporting Director Jean Todt
Ferrari's Michael Schumacher celebrates at the top of the podium with Jean Todt after winning his 5th World Driver's Championship.McLaren's David Coulthard lifts the arm of team mate Kimi Raikkonen after he came very close to winning the race
Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello stands at the top of the podium, in between team mate Michael Schumacher and McLaren Kimi Raikkonen
Ferrari's Michael Schumacher prepares for the race
Ferrari's Michael Schumacher celebrates victory in the Canadian Grand Prix.
Racing driver Michael Schumacher arrives for the Laureus World Sports Awards at the Forum Grimaldi in Monte Carlo.
Actor Sean Connery (L) and racing driver Michael Schumacher arrive for the Laureus World Sports Awards at the Forum Grimaldi in Monte Carlo.
Michael Schumacher with his Sportsman of the Year award at the Laureus World Sports Awards at the Forum Grimaldi in Monte Carlo.
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"We would like to take a look back at his victories, his records and his jubilation. You can be sure that he is in good hands and that we are doing everything we can to help him.
"Please understand, if we follow Michael's wishes and leave as sensitive a topic as health, as ever, in private. At the same time, we say thank you for your friendship and wish you a healthy and happy 2019."
By way of a present to the iconic driver's many fans, the family also announced the release of the Official Michael Schumacher App on his birthday. Developed in conjunction with the Keep Fighting Foundation, the app will include a virtual museum to act as a visual history of his achievements.