So one of our big summer adventures back in July was attending our very first CHARGE Conference. This happens every 2 years and is a gathering of those with CHARGE, their families, and professionals from all over the world.
And overwhelming. That, too. But mostly just amazing.
Most of our time was spent in different sessions learning about so.very.many.different things. Therapies, education issues, medical research, managing various medical issues. That was the overwhelming part.
I was so excited to get to listen to and speak with so many of the professionals that are part of the CHARGE community, though. These people have made such a profound difference in the lives of those with CHARGE. The research that is being done is fascinating as well…at least the parts I could understand. My thinking capabilities were definitely challenged in those few days!
The girls fortunately had their own activities for the day.
But of course, the best part of the whole conference was meeting other families. I cannot even describe the beauty of being surrounded by 1200 people who GET it. Who don’t even bat an eye at a trach or feeding pump or walker or wheelchair or a child struggling with their balance. Who ooh and aah over the cute kids with zero regard to their extra medical attachments. Who smile to themselves at the baskets filled with complimentary hand sanitizer. Who cheer as loudly as they can for every single person in the talent show. Who require no translation of medical terminology!!!! Who understand that all individuals with CHARGE are so incredibly different that there cannot possibly be ONE right way to do things. Who love one another and support one another. Who laugh with each other and cry with each other. Who saw every person at this conference as a member of this special family that we all feel intensely blessed to be a part of.
Next conference is in Orlando in 2017. Goals for that conference are to take more time to talk with everyone and take more pictures! I’m so so glad that we were able to attend this year. Love our CHARGE family so very much!