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2015 Annual Connect Conference
We see strength when we connect
Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy’s Annual Connect Conference is a unique convergence of industry partners, scientific leaders, medical providers, people living with Duchenne, and their families. This exceptional meeting has grown to be recognized worldwide as the foremost Duchenne muscular dystrophy meeting. But more than that, it is a way for families affected by Duchenne to connect with each other. To build support networks. To realize no one is on their own in the fight to end Duchenne.
This year, 2015, marks our 21st Connect Conference. With the Duchenne landscape changing in so many ways, this year’s meeting will help you understand the nuances of Duchenne including the latest in research and care, open communication channels between thought leaders in the field, and lay the groundwork for future collaborations. PPMD's Annual Connect Conference shapes our understanding of the Duchenne landscape. It brings together the people living with Duchenne with the people who have dedicated their lives to finding therapies for Duchenne.
But to make our Annual Connect Conference successful…we need YOU!
PPMD will be live streaming sessions most sessions from the conference Thursday, June 18 - Saturday evening, June 20.
View the Agenda for session details. All sessions times are EDT. Our tentative streaming schedule is:
Every year our agenda grows and expands to include more of the topics you and your family are the most interested. This year is no exception, with more research, care, and advocacy updates than ever before. Plus, we will welcome our pre-conference Transitions Meeting open to all registered families and the National Duchenne Rally & Hill Day, as well as the return of Kids Track. We will also highlight our Robotics Initiative with hands-on demonstrations. And of course, a blow out party that will give everyone a chance to unwind, enjoy new friendships, and reunite with old pals.
Check out this year’s agenda* and make sure you register you and your family today!
*Please note the agenda is a work in progress and with speakers & times subject to change.
What does your Connect Conference Registration Cover?
Registration fees help to offset, but do not cover the full cost of the Connect conference. PPMD recognizes, however, that bringing the conference and the wealth of information it provides is an invaluable part of our leadership in the Duchenne community.
Included with your registration fee is:
(see descriptions below)
(see descriptions below)
One of our most exciting and fast-growing programs at the Connect Conference is our Kids Track! This year, we will be expanding our Kids Track to give those attending more creative outlets to express themselves.
This year, the program has a “Weird Science” theme and will include:
During these sessions there will be a wacky & weird science entertainer, special group games, crafts and activities (broken into 3 age groups; minimum age is 5 or kindergarten), and a very special team of teen robot inventors who will inspire the kids with their cool technology and robot building & battling skills.
Kids Track registration also includes a free t-shirt, lunch on Saturday, and dinner Saturday night.
NOTE: Minimum age is 5 or kindergarten.
National Duchenne Rally & Hill Day - Register by June 10!
With this year's Annual Connect Conference in Washington, DC, PPMD wanted to take advantage of being in our Nation's Capital and ensure that our Duchenne community leaves an indelible imprint on federal policymakers. Friday morning of the conference will kick off with a National Duchenne Rally at the foot of the Capitol, followed by an opportunity for all attendees to have one meeting with the office of a Member of Congress. For those attendees who sign up, you will be trained and provided all the tools needed for a fun and successful morning.
This is a great opportunity for new advocates who are interested in getting a taste of PPMD's Annual Advocacy Conference that happens every February. This is also a chance for our seasoned advocates to help mentor new advocates and further the relationship you have created over time. Let's ensure that anyone within eyesight of the U.S. Capitol on June 19th knows that it is time to End Duchenne. Join us for our National Duchenne Rally & Hill Day!
Please note the additional registration fee for those attendees planning on joining this important effort and being part of the Hill visits helps to offset the cost of scheduling and will also provide you with an End Duchenne shirt to be worn by all advocates.
NOTE: National Duchenne Rally & Hill Day registration closes June 10.
In 2015, PPMD’s Annual Connect Conference will include a meeting track dedicated exclusively to adults with Duchenne and Becker. Presenters will specifically address topics of interest to teens and adults: driving, independent living, home modifications, life after college, dating and family life, managing personal care attendants, robotics as mobility options, navigating 'the system', and more. This meeting will also have a strong tone of self-advocacy and empowerment as we work to ensure that we transform this 'moment into a movement'. View the Transitions Meeting agenda.
NOTE: Portions of the Transitions meeting will be open and welcome to all Connect Conference attendees ages 14 and older (parents included). Other segments of the Transitions meeting will be open only to adults and teens living with Duchenne/Becker ages 14 and older (closed to parents).
This year, PPMD will again be offering an amazing support program for newly diagnosed Duchenne families to attend the Connect conference. Through generous donations and sponsorships, PPMD is offering a scholarship program to waive registration fees for families who have been diagnosed after January 2014.**
If your child has been diagnosed with Duchenne after January 2014 and you have never attended a PPMD Connect Conference and would like to attend the conference to gain a better understanding of Duchenne care and research, and to meet other families living with this diagnosis, please click here to apply for this scholarship.
(**PPMD can offer conference scholarships to approximately 30 families on a first come, first serve basis. This scholarship covers conference fees only and does not cover travel or hotel accommodations. Kids Track and Capitol Hill visits are not included in this sponsorship.)
New Robotics Session
PPMD is excited to announce an entire session at this year’s Connect Conference in Washington, DC, dedicated to our Robotics Initiative. Traditionally PPMD’s Connect Conference has wrapped up on Sunday morning. But this year we are taking advantage of the time we have on Sunday to bring you a look at some of the exciting robotic technology PPMD is funding, as well as other technologies we are considering at various stages of development. Not only will you hear from the engineers behind these devices, you will get an up close look at what they are and how they work.
To reserve a room at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park at the Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy group rate, please make your reservation by May 26, 2015.
Yes, you are welcome to bring your children to PPMD’s Annual Connect Conference. However, please remember and keep in mind that the conference presentations are serious topics and quite sensitive and session days are long. For this reason, please make sure to bring someone with you or make arrangements to have someone watch your children while you attend the conference sessions. Also, PPMD will be offering a Kids Track on Friday afternoon & Saturday (View the "Kids Track" section of this page to learn more).
No. PPMD does not offer childcare at this meeting. However PPMD is able to provide you with a list of children’s activities and attractions in the area. We also will be offering a Kids Track on Friday afternoon & Saturday (View the "Kids Track" section of this page to learn more).
Unfortunately, PPMD is not in the position to be able to waive any registration fees. As mentioned above, the registration fees only cover approximately 65% of what PPMD pays for each person for the conference. We suggest that you look into local community groups such as the Lion's Club or Rotary Club for financial assistance. Also sometimes, church groups or other service groups will help provide assistance. Through generous donations and sponsorships, PPMD offers a scholarship program for newly diagnosed Duchenne families (diagnosed after January 2014).
Past Conference Presentations
Corporate Sponsorship Opportunities
Interested in sponsoring the Connect Conference? Sponsorship opportunities are still available. Please visit our Sponsor Programs page for more details.
Resource Fair Opportunities
We are pleased to announce the inaugural PPMD Resource Fair at this year’s Annual Connect Conference. We are working to help resource providers and the community connect about practical services, equipment, and more. Admission for attendees is included in conference registration. If you would like information about how to exhibit please visit ParentProjectMD.org/Vendor.
Call for Poster Session Abstracts
PPMD is excited to include a Poster Session at this year’s Annual Connect Conference in Washington, D.C., June 18-21. The Poster Session will take place Thursday, June 18 in the evening. If you are interested in submitting an abstract, click here. Submissions are due May 8, 2015.
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