Here is a lighter and happier post than what I usually talk about! This is all about how I an preparing for the 32nd Annual HDSA Convention!
This is the general information: This year’s convention is being held in Schaumburg, Illinois from June 22-24! For those of you who read my posts and are interested in going, there are national scholarships to help get you there! If you’re under 29 years old and a part of the National Youth Alliance(NYA) there is a separate scholarship just for you(Application Deadline: April 12th).
So! This is how I am preparing: First, if I get awarded scholarship and get to go the first thing on my list is to make a plan on what sessions I want to go to. Last year I went more so to reunite with people I’ve met and meet new people instead of for the education; which really convention is all about the education! I would plan on going to sessions about grief and loss, testing, and research. One of my favorite sessions from last year was the “Ask the Scientists,” session where Dr. Jeff Carroll and Dr. Ed Wild answered everyone’s questions, simple or complex. I already have a list in my phone of questions I want to ask them!
Next, I of course want to meet up and spend some much needed time with everyone who I met at the two HD Camps and last year’s convention as well as meet some new people! This is always the best part of any HD event because we really only get to see each other once a year(twice if we’re all lucky enough to go to convention, a camp or a retreat). We are all so close that it is just so easy to pick back up where we left off even if we haven’t spoken since the last event, and that’s what is so amazing about this community.
I also want to make sure that I check out the booths that are set up around the hotel because a lot of them are people with really good information. It ranges from HD specific nursing home booths, the NYA booth, Enroll-HD, and people selling their books about their stories. I definitely didn’t take as much time as I should have last year checking every single booth out. This year, if I get to go, I want to really speak my mind and ask any question that pops into my head and find out about anything and everything HD related because hopefully, if I am lucky enough, I will make this my job. All I could ever want is to help the youth in this community and the more I know and the more knowledge I receive from such a great event, the better I could be as a social worker.
All in all, I am so excited to see what 2017 HD events have in store. If there is one thing in this world that I have a strong passion for it is learning more about this disease and helping in anyway that I can! I hope I will be able to see some of you at some events!