Connective Issues - Fall 2019


p Healthcare professionals and partic- ipants at the 2019 Annual Conference Health Fair. Medical equipment donations by Hitachi, Siemens, and Ndd Medical Technologies brought the highest level of quality into each visit.

to get the overwhelmingly positive experience offered to patients at the Health Fair. It’s quite another to get to see it from the other side. Daniel said, “The number of people who attend the Health Fair is more than I realized and I was surprised by the number of children we saw. This hit home with me because I was in their situation just a few years ago.” The Health Fair is the main draw to the Annual Conference for many first-time attendees who cannot otherwise access the level or breadth of expertise in Marfan, vEDS, Loeys Dietz, and related conditions available all in one place. Like many others, that first time at the Annual Conference is just the start. And for Daniel and Debbie, the value of the experience keeps getting stronger with each year they attend and volunteer.

But after attending several conferences, Debbie says the two decided they wanted to do more. “I wanted to give back and do more,” she said. Daniel shared that volunteering at the Health Fair was “a unique and excellent opportunity to help a community that has helped me so much over the last 10 years.” The hours as a Health Fair volunteer are long and can be difficult, but both Daniel and Debbie enjoy getting to know the people who come for appointments and learning about them. Plus, they were inspired by the number of doctors who are at the Health Fair and the number of hours they give to see patients. This has been valuable insight, especially for Daniel, who aims to go into the medical field. It’s one thing

The Annual Conference Health Fair is among the most powerful experience for first-time attendees and returners alike. Meeting top physicians and experts in all fields in one place has saved the lives of countless members of our community. For Debbie and Daniel Peters, the experience of attending a Conference Health Fair was so profound that they’ve returned as volunteers since their first experience in 2016 in Rochester, Minnesota. The mother-son duo attended that year to get medical questions answered and learn better ways to manage day-to-day life at home. As a patient, Daniel, who has Loeys Dietz syndrome, says he likes “getting recommendations on what the best treatment is that can help improve my day-to-day function at home.”

Each year, members of the Foundation’s Professional Advisory Board and other top physicians, who are leading experts on Marfan and related conditions, donate countless hours to provide a life-affirming Conference experience to every attendee. These doctors give freely of their time during the Annual Conference. They consult with individuals and families during the Health Fair, give medical presentations, lead workshops, and answer questions from participants during sessions and informally. The Marfan Foundation Annual Conference experience is only as valuable as it is because of the support of these expert and passionate physicians. Thank you to the PAB and members of the medical community who made this year’s Health Fair possible! THANK YOU, MEDICAL LEADERS!

Photo courtesy of Daniel Peters

p Daniel and Debbie Peters both volunteered at this year’s Health Fair during the Annual Conference in Houston.


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