The person of the year 2022
Haraldur Þorleifsson, a 45-year-old designer and founder of digital design company Ueno, is the person of the year by the readers of mbl.is. Throughout this year, he has supported the less fortunate as well as ramping up Iceland’s accessibility, thereby improving accessibility for the disabled.
Haraldur is in a wheelchair himself, but he has a muscle atrophy disorder.
“I was diagnosed when I was so young. I was only two years old. So I have never known anything else than knowing that I had this disease. It may be a different kind of a trauma never experiencing the actual shock, because there is never the right time to go through the grieving process. Often, when a person has an accident or experiences something like that, the grieving process starts immediately. When people are born with something like this or are in this situation from the beginning, they never go through the same process,” Haraldur says, adding that in some ways he is in denial about his disease.
“I don´t take much time to think about that I have this disease,” he says.
"Life can get better if you give it time"
Haraldur has been giving money to people who were struggling during the year. When asked how much money he had given, he is not willing to give it up. “There is a certain freedom that comes with money. It is often not necessarily a large sum of money that can help people through difficult situations. That’s when I’ve tried to act.”
Are you not concerned about the running out of money?
“My accountant is very worried about it. He complains about it every month. But no, not too much. But everything can happen.”