This was my 3rd year at healthevoices. There are so many advocates out there that do such amazing work. I have been lucky enough to be here for 3 years and i have met so many amazing people. If you passed any one of us on the street you would never ever know what we face each and every day. Everyone here has a smile on their faces we are genuinely happy. We are its the one place i can say damn i hurt so friggin bad, i walk into the ‘social’ room and guess what? There are comfy chairs and heating pads. OMG just what i needed. I talk with an advocate that i met just last year and we talk for about an hour, we have alot in common. We think alot alike. I step out and run into and old friend and we chat for awhile. Then during dinner im posting on twitter and i remember there was someone who wanted to meet me. I wanted to meet her but i havent yet. I tweet hey where are you? The reply…. 2 tables away! Success! Its her first time here and shes having a great time. Its great hearing that, as this is THE best conference an online advocate could goto. Why?
Well…. I advocate for Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis. She advocates for MS. Another for Lupus, another for HIV, and yet another for Diabetes. Wait? Type 1 or type 2? They are all represented here. Actually this year there are 122 advocates representing over 40 different conditions. We have 1 thing in common. We set aside our problems to help others as much as possible. This is a part time job for alot of us and a full time job for others. We all share a common bond. We all advocate, wait did i say that yet? 😉
I was talking to Caroline (who runs healthevoices) and i said this is a family reunion. The bonds that are formed here carry on throughout the year, we then meet up next year and strengthen the old bonds and form new ones. Then only bad part of this conference is Sunday. Saying goodbye is never easy. Its so hard. Just thinking about it gives me chills. Im going to stop here as its only day 1. Ill share more tomorrow night. Oh wait maybe not, you may have to wait until i get home. Talk soon. Much love.
P.S. The legal folk tell me i have to put this disclaimer. My friends know me better though. I am truthful. I do not lie. If something is good i will tell you. If something is not, i will tell you. There is no amount of money that could change my opinion. With that being said the crew at Janssen, JnJ, TonicLC and everyone of our sponsors that allow for this conference to be possible are some of the nicest people i have ever met. They truly care.
Note: I typed this while at HealthEvoices and it was in a notepad saved on my computer. I never published it, just saw it. OMG im losing my mind..
“Janssen covered my travel expenses to attend #HealtheVoices18. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.”