Mucopolysaccharide & Related Diseases Society Aust. Ltd held their 11th National MPS Conference in Brisbane from 29 September to 1 October 2006. The conference brought together over 85 delegates from across Australia and New Zealand and two special guest speakers from the United Kingdom. Also in attendance at the conference were 46 children either affected with Mucopolysaccharidoses (MPS) or siblings of those affected. These children were looked after on their own specially designed program by 35 volunteer carers.
The 11th National MPS conference theme was dedicated to forming and strengthening partnerships. The conference was about individuals who have MPS, families with children with MPS, friendships, happiness, sadness, much laughter and the sharing of advancement in research, treatments and information. Most importantly the conference was about the empowerment for all individuals and families in attendance whose everyday role is as a mother, a father, or a carer for these special people affected by MPS.
MPS National conferences are very unique as they give those dealing with research and treatment a first hand chance to see the human side of the work they are doing. MPS conferences also provide a precious vehicle for individuals or parents to empower themselves by getting first hand knowledge from those with the most to give and to be able to take this knowledge back to their own local medical professionals.
Families and individuals with MPS in attendance at this year’s conference benefited by having the opportunity to meet with other families or individuals with MPS, to share and discuss concerns and health issues and discuss ways to improve their life styles. The possibility of the inclusion of a chat room on the MPS Society’s web site was proposed, the committee of management will now look into this possibility so that families and individuals will be able to communicate frequently.
Families and individuals with MPS were given ample opportunities to meet with professionals working in the field of MPS to discuss the latest advancement in research and treatment options that may be available to them to manage their child’s or own disorder.
The children in attendance at the conference enjoyed the activities provided in the children’s program. They visited Movie Word and The Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary where they were all able to cuddle and be photographed with the koalas. Sunday morning was spent relaxing doing craft and painting followed by lunch at the local McDonalds Restaurant.
Just a few photos of the conference have been posted below - See our Conference 2006 Photo Gallery for more photos.