Life is never dull and the last few months have been crazy busy. So crazy busy, that I am ridiculously behind on updating my blog. I have been traveling and entertaining guests here in Florida as well. I will do my best to catch every one up on my comings and goings… but offer no guarantees. Hold on tight because here we go…..
Since I last blogged, I have attended a couple of patient meetings. One in Tampa for Genzyme, which was a nice relaxing dinner meeting. Just me a couple of the cool peeps from Genzyme and two other Pompe families. I also spent a couple of days in California. The United Pompe Foundation invited me to speak at their meetings in Los Angeles and San Bernardino. This gave me the opportunity to meet with some new Pompe folks as well as get caught up on all the research that is being done by Genzyme, BioMarin, and Amicus Therapeutics. The United Pompe Foundation had a great line-up of presenters, including a representative from Medic Alert. We have been working on coming up with the ideal text to put on a Medic Alert bracelet that can be understood by EMTs and emergency room doctors….all in only 75 characters. There is a lot to tell a medical professional in just 75 character, especially taking in to account that many will have no idea what Pompe is. We are closing in on text that all involved can agree upon and when that is settled I will post the information here.
Since I was flying all the way to California, I decided to extend my stay by a couple of days to catch up with some friends and hit up my old stopping grounds – Disneyland. Disneyland was where I spent most of my childhood and teenage years, it was the location of my first job. I worked at the restaurants in Fantasyland when I was in high school. The weather was great, I made new friends at the meetings, met up with old friends, got to enjoy In-N-Out and Disneyland – all in all, a wonderful trip.
Back home in Florida, I have had lots of visitors….well, I kind of had to share them with Mickey. It was like a rotating door of visitors. Family, friends from the transatlantic cruise, friends I used to work with, Pompe friends, and of course my most frequent visitor Lonnie. It never gets old showing people around Walt Disney World. Everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime.
Speaking of cruise friends…a bunch of us got together and decided the first transatlantic Disney cruise was so much fun that we needed to do it again! So me and 20 or so of my closest and craziest cruise buddies headed to Barcelona, Spain in September for another 2 week adventure at sea onboard the Disney Magic. It was wonderful! Another adventure I highly recommend….take a long cruise once in your life. With all the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, it is nice to get on a cruise ship for two weeks and just let someone else take care of all your needs. And for those of you playing the home game, yes, that means I have spent 35 days on a Disney cruise ship in one year.
And now we transition to my latest adventure. On Saturday I will board a plane for the longest plane flight of my life – yes, longer than when I was flying to China from Las Vegas. I will fly from Orlando, Florida to Wellington, New Zealand. I have been asked to help the Lysosmal Diseases New Zealand (LDNZ) patient group with their campaign to secure funding for enzyme replacement therapy. I don’t know yet, exactly what they have in store for me, but I know it will involve the media and they are trying to secure meetings with political leaders. I will meet up with 4 New Zealand Pompe patients and we will do our best to convince the powers that be that ERT is life saving and it does make a difference. How can they stare ME in the eye and tell me it doesn’t work?
How can you help?
If you or someone you know has benefited from ERT for Pompe Disease, please let me know. Leave a short, but detailed comment about how ERT has saved and improved your life. I will take all these with me and share them with whomever will listen. I will be arriving in New Zealand on Monday and we will be hitting the media circuit on Tuesday, so please try to submit your testimonials over the weekend – while I am enduring the longest flight of my life. But it will be worth it if we can get them to approve ERT for our Kiwi friends.