It's a wrap! A sold-out gathering of over 300 DM families, researchers, medical professionals and vendors from the U.S, Canada and countries as far-flung as Chile came together at the 2012 MDF Annual Conference to learn current strategies for living with DM, gain new information on myotonic dystrophy symptoms, and hear a report on current research advances.
The conference was again a wonderful way for the MDF community to enjoy the camaraderie that the annual conference program promotes. Returning family members reunited with other families that share the DM journey, and met new community members eager to get involved and learn about myotonic dystrophy.
More than a dozen clinical and research professionals presented on topics ranging from DM and the Heart and Family Planning & Genetic Counseling to Occupational Therapy for DM: Strategies for Living and Social Security: Be a Consumer, Not a Victim. A number of conference topics were presented for the first time, and this year's MDF Resource Fair was significantly expanded, to include a broad range of vendors from leading DM research institutions collecting blood samples and data for research studies to vendors demonstrating the latest in orthotic and respiratory assistive devices. It all took place over a sunny, blue-sky weekend at the Hyatt Regency, San Francisco Airport on August 17th and 18th, 2012.
In addition to presentations and Q&A sessions with leading medical providers, this year's conference included a first-ever research update from the pharmaceutical industry, with a presentation from Dr. Robert MacLeod, Vice President of Oncology and Exploratory Discovery at Isis Pharmaceuticals. After an introduction from Dr. John Day of Stanford University that emphasized the importance of continuing to pursue multiple treatment options, Dr. MacLeod discussed current developments in Isis’ research and the company's recent partnership with Biogen Idec.
MDF Board and staff members presented information on new and expanded MDF programs and how MDF community members can get involved, including the Foundation's new initiative, TeamMDF, a grassroots volunteer and advocacy corps that is designed to enhance the support MDF offers to people and families living with DM, generate new tools and resources for the MDF community and create an organized face and voice for myotonic dystrophy at the state and national levels.
Sunday featured do-it-yourself community meetings and a popular and well-attended chair yoga demonstration. A number of families also took advantage of the lovely Bay area weather to explore San Francisco.
The entire program, including copies of presentations from many of the speakers, can be found by clicking here.
Be sure to mark your calendars for next year's conference! The 2013 MDF Annual Conference will be held November 8th and 9th, 2013 in Houston, Texas. We look forward to seeing you there.
Questions? Please contact MDF at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 86-myotonic (866-968-6642).