Journal Volume 3 - June 2008
2008 California Rare Neuroimmunologic Disorders Mini-Symposium, Anaheim
Dr. Charles Levy advocated for and organized a rare neuroimmunologic disorders session at an annual meeting of physiatrists in California. Dr. Levy, the founding member of the TMA Medical Advisory Board, suggested that we organize an all-day educational meeting with our California Support Group while four of our Medical Advisory Board doctors were together in California. Drs. Douglas Kerr, Adam Kaplin and Frank Pidcock were excited about this educational opportunity and agreed to attend with Dr. Levy.
The California Support Group learned of this opportunity in October of last year. We felt that we could not pass up this rare offer, and with only a few months to plan the entire symposium, we took on the challenge. We had a lot of help from all of our Southern California support group members that meet regularly in Garden Grove. We called all of our members, sent emails, wrote letters, and invited everyone to attend.
We were able to negotiate a very reasonable contract with the Disneyland Hotel people to hold it at Paradise Pier, right next to Disneyland. We had a huge response from our members, who were really excited about our February 23rd event. Even with the short notice, almost 100 TMA members attended the mini-symposium. As is always the case when we have a large group of people with TM getting together, most of our attendees had never met another person with TM; so it was a very emotional day.
Dr. Kerr presented his latest research findings on transverse myelitis, optic neuritis, ADEM, NMO and Devic’s disease. Dr. Kaplin made us all appreciate how important it is to recognize when depression is interfering in our lives, causing our TM symptoms to worsen, and causing the quality of our lives to deteriorate without our realizing it. Dr. Levy shared his observations about evaluations for fitting people for chairs, walkers, and orthotic devices. He had many compliments regarding how well people in the audience were fitted and we all appreciated his comments. Dr. Pidcock raised issues regarding botox injections and alternative symptom treatment, which helped many to rethink their issues, and prepared them to bring many questions into their primary care providers.
We hope that this is the first of many “mini-symposia” which will be held around the country. There is a lot to fit into one day, but we would be able to bring more information to smaller groups who are unable to travel to the east coast or to the west coast for the larger conferences.
We can not thank our medical advisory board enough for making this possible. Thank you, Drs. Levy, Pidcock, Kaplin and Kerr!