by Dee Dee Olsen

I attended our first National Family Conference when our daughter, Jade, was two years old.  I have never been so affected by such an outpouring of emotion, support, and information.  It truly was remarkable.  I vowed to make Family Conference an annual event, which it has been for eight years.  The funny thing is, each and every conference has moved me in a similar way.  In fact, these conferences have only become more and more special as the years have passed.

We first attended Family Conference to gain insight and information.  Little did we know we’d get a lot more than just information.  Each and every member of our family (both affected and not affected) has developed close bonds and lasting friendships.  As families that have been affected by ectodermal dysplasia, we have watched one another’s children grow up.  We have become friends through conference and through social networking.  We have shared information. We have shared shoulders to cry on during the rough times.  We have shared resounding cheers during good times.  We have shared countless silent prayers during the scary times. At conference, our children have shared laughs with their peers, endless entertainment at Kids Camp, outings and made remarkable discoveries of their similarities.

Attending Family Conference is very meaningful for our family.  We wouldn’t miss it.  Our children always count down the days.  Maybe because it’s not so much a Family Conference as it is a family reunion.

4 comments on “Not a Family Conference…It's a Family Reunion”

  1. 1
    DeAnn Huxman on July 6, 2012

    Very well said Dee Dee! Can’t wait to see you in a couple weeks.

  2. 2
    Pam Wilson Kennedy on July 13, 2012

    Beautifully said. See you in a few days.

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