Saturday, June 21, 2014

Conference Brings the Community Together

By Karen Lovett, 2014 Conference Reporter

Wow! What a great first day! Walking down the hallways or riding on the elevator, we have had opportunities to meet many interesting people. That alone would have been enough reason for some to come to the 2014 International PH Conference. Luckily, the fun did not stop there.

The day started off with a feeling of belonging. The morning Meet-ups allowed a chance to meet others with similar situations or interests. The Newly Diagnosed and Long-Term Survivors were both popular places to hang out. As new people came and went from one group to another, the discussions flowed fairly seamlessly from one story to another. As Tiffany Gunderman shared, "People share their stories and find hope in other's experiences."

The Conference Opening was a favorite of many attendees like Jasbir James. Leaving the Grand Ballroom, people could be heard saying how much Jeannette Morrill's story touched them. Their story may be very different, but they still recognized some of the same feelings of fear and hope for the future.

Attendees were empowered as they scurried from place to place and session to session, willingly stopping to talk or answer questions. The one thing that stood out is that no one person was alone. Whether they were attending their first Conference or their eleventh, they were not the odd person in the group. They had a friend that had been there. Even better, the Conference is just getting started. Saturday is looking to be another fun-filled day.

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