Terry Pirovolakis became immersed in the world of rare disease after his son Michael was diagnosed with spastic paraplegia 50, an ultra-rare and progressive neurodegenerative disease. Later this month, interdisciplinary teams from around the world will gather as part of a 30-day hackathon to develop therapeutic strategies for Michael’s condition. We spoke to Pirovolakis about Michael’s disease, how the hackathon will work, and why he’s trying to turn this into a sustainable model for other people with ultra-rare diseases to develop treatments for conditions without any.