The conference has been voted a huge success; not only by those who attended as patients but also by the medical professionals and other scientists who were there.
Last Saturday, the tenth anniversary of the society being entered in the Charity Commission’s Register. And we celebrated by bringing together all of the researchers that are leading innovative investigations into the diagnosis and treatment of Pernicious Anaemia. The brief given to the researchers were that they should keep their presentations as simple as possible in order that all attendees could understand what was being said. And they did a tremendous job; using plain English to explain what is necessarily very complicated science. The evening before we had hosted a dinner for all speakers and that was the time when the guest speakers were able to explain in more detail what they were doing.
There was a great buzz in the room throughout the day; but sitting listening to the presentations was just part of what was going on. Delegates had the opportunity to speak with Employment lawyers about any workplace issues they were having and there was a representative of Thyroid UK who was at hand to offer advice about this common comorbid condition. And the publisher Hammersmith Health Books was also there selling copies of various publications including all three books by Martyn Hooper, the current Chairman of the society.
The event was serviced by a 6-man film crew and three cameras. One of the cameras, was dedicated to conducting interviews with the speakers and any delegates who had a story to tell. These interviews were conducted by Alastair Greener and will be used as the basis of a documentary that we will be making in 2017.
Delegates had ample time during the tea/coffee breaks to share their experiences of diagnosis and treatment with other sufferers and all had a conference ‘goody bag’ consisting of a pen, diary, notepad, trolley key-ring, lapel badge and window sticker. All of these will help raise awareness of the society’s existence.
We’ve had some excellent emails from the speakers with all of them stating that they had learned something from the event. And at least two new collaborative research programmes are now in the pipeline.
We plan to hold the next conference in 2018 if we can access the funds.
What was disappointing was that 23 delegates didn’t turn up. Whilst three people told us that they would not be able to attend, twenty just didn’t show. Which is a shame because we could have easily sold their tickets.
Roll on 2018! Goodness knows what we will have achieved by then!