Wow! What an exciting and informative weekend. Driving into the event was less then exciting with my neck aching in pain and getting lost in the Big Apple. Besides that I really didn’t know what to expect upon arriving to this event. I have to admit I was a bit anxious. Having a visible disease makes me always feel self-conscious.
I managed to find the place with little trouble. I was pleasently surprised how nice the hotel was and would recommend you staying there at least once in your life. The hotel we stayed at was the Hyatt in NJ, 2 Exchange Pl. So I checked into my room and went down to register at the #Janssen table. I was greeted and treated like a celebrity. The name of the event was #HealtheVoices15. The meet and greet was cleverly designed with an engaging participation survey. I met most everyone trying to fill out and submit the bingo card for a prize. I often feel socially awkward due to the visible disease #psoriasis. Confidence is an issue with me now a days due to the lack of self esteem. I met some really influential people there. Including the three I know that share my disease Lori-Ann Holbrook, Howard Chang, and Brittany Inerson.
The dinner was buffet style and the food was outstanding. The usual introductions were in place and I was delighted to meet the first presenter, Jennifer Taubet. I casually walked up to her at the meet and greet and to my surprise later found out she was the Chairman of the North America Pharmaceuticals. (Amazing) Her story was compelling and she to shared that her son was diagnosed with a brain tumor at a early age and today he is completely healed and in his first year of college. I was also proud to meet the second presenter Clare Martorana, Executive Vice President of Everydayhealth. Everydayhealth partnered with Janssen in order to make this event successful.
The very next day was impeccable starting with breakfast and even the last bite at dinner. But the meat and potatoes was in the lecture hall. The planning that went into this event was unpresidented. I’ve been to many events before but this one was over the top. I sit there in awe as I look around the room. Each person with a story to tell. We had several presentations that day, but the one that impressed me most was Dr. Zubin Damania (aka ZDOGGMD) founder of Turntable Health. This guy can really motivate an audience. Let’s just say he was the bomb. We also had a digital media lawyer, Jimmy Nguyen and a social media director Tim Cigelske. They navigated us through the complicated world of blogging and platforms. I would of been more focused if my psoriatic arthritis wasn’t acting up. By then I was just wishing I could of been laying down or taking a good Epson salt bath.
I have to say all in all this was an inspiring weekend. The last day was amazing too. People were sharing their stories on video and a cartoonist was drawing a wall board of symptoms and stories identifying each disease with the person. Goodbyes were said and hugs were warm. The education I received is invaluable. I’m forever in debt to #Janssen. I’m so grateful and honored to meet so many patient advocates who are as compassionate as me.
Paid for and hosted by #JANSSEN twitter: @tvsoccerdad email: firstname.lastname@example.org facebook: Overcoming Psoriasis and Psoriasis Campaign for a Cure. Instagram: Overcoming Psoriasis Volunteer Patient Advocate with the NPF aspired by Ron Villano MHC author of the ZING. http://www.RonVillano.Com http://www.psoriasis.org