The notes I've posted from speakers at the conference don't fully capture a lot of what goes on there. The information is extremely valuable, but a lot of what makes attending these conferences great is being with others.
There aren't too many places you can go and find so many other families who can relate to the challenges and joys of raising a 1p36 Deletion child. This year there were actually 36 different families registered to be at the conference. And we had a great time with them!
Whitney quickly realized she was among friends as well. Melanie and Whitney came in the back door of the conference room Saturday afternoon and Whitney saw Kate, one of the other 1p36 kids. Whit stopped and turned to Melanie. She pointed at Kate and then signed "Whitney." Melanie didn't understand at first. Then it dawned on her. Whitney was telling Melanie that she realized that Kate was like her. "Kate is like me," she was saying. Then, of course she gave Kate a hug. How profound that a little one as challenged as Whitney is, can recognize others like herself and love them for how special they are. I was really touched.
There were so many great little moments like that with other children in their families. My family can't put a price on the value of being together with the rest of the group. We absolutely love it. We're really looking forward to being together with everyone again soon.